Nathan Bransford's post. Please visit his blog entry, comment there, and comment on the other entries from people who have pledged to do similar posts!EDIT: What the heck. I had already planned a charity post for today (just that time of year, I guess!), but I'm going to turn it into a comment pledge entry a la
I will donate $1 from every comment on this entry to Heifer International, up to $50. All you have to do is comment, and a charity will get some funding! Can't argue with that!
I want to talk about something sort of serious today. But not too serious, don't go away!!!! Woo, rhymes. Anyway, this post is not about writing or books or being author-ly or anything like that.
This is a post about charity.
Seriously, don't go away or I will be VERY PUT OUT.
Charity, philanthropy, giving, donation... these are all words that people have weird reactions to. Some jump on them, some balk from them. All sorts of images pop into our minds. Images of orphans, shelter animals, empty promises, throwing money away, tax deductions, postulating celebrities we suspect are really full of Le Crap. A lot of people get some sort of Good Intention Bug in their head, where they think, "Oh, that sounds like a very nice cause. How nice that someone cares about AIDS/world hunger/water for African kids/protecting the penguins/education for impoverished disaster orphans/whatever. I wish I could do something like that for something I care about. Maybe I'll throw them a bone. We'll see."
And I'm not trying to be a jerk and act like people don't care about things that matter. There's more to it than that. We're in a rough economic time, we have to worry about our own well-being, we can't possibly care about everything that needs to be cared about. Many people have their hearts and intentions in the right place. We just sometimes have trouble taking that last little step into actually doing something.
It doesn't have to be money. Sometimes we're uncomfortable giving money, and that's okay. But we CAN and SHOULD *do* something. We are people of privilege, and we inherently have power. There's no reason why we can't use that power for good. Money, time, clothing, food, love... these are all things we can give. Good intentions are all well and... good... but they don't *do* anything. Sometimes the excuses get stale. It's hard not to be selfish. It's hard to let go of our wants and time and emotional investment. But it's necessary. The human condition demands it of us.
There must be something you're passionate about. A person. A cause. An organization. How can you support it with your time, money, or other input? Do it. This year, do it. Don't put it off anymore. Find a way.
We get so insular. It's only natural. You're not a bad person for worrying about yourself and your loved ones first; none of us are. Even so, we can try to make a conscious effort to branch out. Something as small as being kind to the homeless person who asks you for change is a start. Following people who do good works and supporting them is another start.
Try kindness. Try joy. Try love. Try giving.
What are you passionate about? How can we help?