"I fight for laughter to start."
April 13, 2007 9:11 AM   Subscribe

It's perhaps in the nature of humanity — or at the very least, modern-day culture — to marvel at, and share news about, our more hateful aspects. It's nice to know that there are moments out there that you can accidentally stumble across that prove to you that mankind has perhaps some innate goodness in it, as well. (Sorry for the unicorn fluffiness; we now return you to your regularly scheduled Metafilter programming, already in progress.)
posted by WCityMike (4 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If everybody'd do that- remove the log in their own eye before going after the splinter in their neighbor's- if everybody'd just take care of the world right immediately around them, what need would there be for grand social action?

What a load of shite. In the same piece she goes off on people being insincere, and comes out with this abstract airy fairy bit of useless nonsense? Sure, the story about the kid is nice. It's not world-changing, though. Part of the problem with this world is that people do in fact just deal with the world around them as they see it, and ignore the larger picture. This can hurt. We need big-picture thinking, too, in large part because these little everyday acts of kindness are often just superficial acts to make ourselves feel good, and don't make any true impact. Sometimes we need to think about how systems interact and the reality that we live in a global economy and we're rapidly realising that we also live in a global environment (think global warming) and we're very affected by global issues. Our ignorance of day-to-day actions affecting others is a big part of this problem. Someone living in the suburbs and commuting into town to a job and then giving someone on the street $5 might be totally unaware that their living in the suburbs is putting immense strain on city servicing, degrading the tax base of the inner city and doing much more harm than good in respect to the social structure of that town. Yet, they genuinely feel they're acting as a good citizen.

Thinking about big picture instead of doing what we think might be right in the moment on a local basis is often necessary. Giving $20 to a homeless person might make you beam all day, but it might just go to buying more drugs, or to keeping that person on the street just a little longer. Giving $20 to The United Way would probably be much more helpful, yet less immediately satisfying or personal. Acting as our own little policemen can often lead to an anarchy of sorts, driven by blissful ignorance and personal interest at the expense of more planned, higher-level organisational structure.
posted by jimmythefish at 10:09 AM on April 13, 2007

posted by WCityMike at 10:20 AM on April 13, 2007

Giving $20 to The United Way would probably be much more helpful,

No, since only about 50 cents of that goes to the homeless, and the rest for organizational overhead.

That's the problem.

That said, this post is very unimpressive.
posted by nasreddin at 1:23 PM on April 13, 2007

No, since only about 50 cents of that goes to the homeless, and the rest for organizational overhead.

I'd say it's a little more than that.
posted by jimmythefish at 3:48 PM on April 13, 2007

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