Whitney’s Shelf: Making A Difference

In a previous post, Whitney and I talked about You Shall Know Our Velocity! by Dave Eggers. We wondered what we would do with gazillions of dollars that had to be given away, and wondered if maybe Will’s solution was more self-serving. While true charity is often as beneficial for the giver as the gifted, sometimes charity is more about filling one’s own emotional void than about really making a difference. (Whitney suggests candy as a possibly less destructive hole-filler.) Turns out Jillian Keenan agrees with us (not about the candy. About the waste.). Just write a check, and don’t worry about connecting emotionally with starving children in Africa. Or connect in non-monetary ways, like giving them a stamp or teaching them a skill (Keenan’s suggestions). The children are probably victims of human trafficking, so anything you give them, they don’t actually get to keep. If you’re looking to connect emotionally with other human beings, it might be a better idea to start where you are, with the people already in your life. But maybe you agree with Will. It’s tricky, because obviously it’s not ok to let children starve. How can we know the best way to help someone? Pop on over to Slate and read Keenan’s article and tell me what you think.

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