Sunday, March 21, 2010

Poverty and Philanthropy

I think I am going to enjoy writing these blog entries a lot more now that they actually have to include a meaning and a specific topic. This week our topic is “poverty and philanthropy”. The first thing that came to mind when thinking of poverty is a homeless or battered women’s shelter. The store I work at donates any clothes not sold in two months to a battered women’s shelter in near by Alpharetta. However, I do not believe that people today take in to consideration other people’s needs like they used to. Most people just think about themselves and say “screw it” to everyone else. For example, teens and young adults who are convicted by the police to have alcohol underage or a speeding ticket are in most cases required to complete twenty hours, more or less, or community service work. However, most teens and people I know who have had to do this, simply work at a library or go to the Veteran’s nursing home and help out. I have frequently over heard people say, “Oh ya, dude, just go to the Veteran’s place they’ll sign you did more hours than you actually did it’s awesome!” Although getting through the hours is mostly what teenagers think about, I believe they should do something a little more meaningful. The court or judge should instead assign people to do certain things. For instance, instead of just giving them a sheet and saying get this filled out by whenever, they should give them times and locations of where they are needed. The people in homeless shelters or soup kitchens are more in need of assistance than the librarians in local libraries. As much as old people may enjoy getting read to, the people in poverty need the help, encouragement, and care of others. Some one told me one time that certain states or school systems were requiring twenty or so hours of community service in order to graduate from high school. I believe that would be a good idea and an excellent way to get teenagers involved in their community. Performing hours of community service would also motivate people to get out and help people and make their neighborhood a better place. Time that is spent by most high school students partying or getting into trouble could be better spent improving the environment around them. Don’t get me wrong I like to have fun but sometimes it can be fun to help people out. Not only would it be kind and courteous to help but it may also stimulate motivation in a career path. I will use myself as an example: I love animals and I hope to one day become a veterinarian. Working and helping out at an animal shelter would be a good way for me to secure my decision and show me what it would be like to work with animals. High schoolers these days, especially in Johns Creek, live a sheltered life. Being exposed to soup kitchens and poverty may help them to open their eyes a little wider to the real life struggles of those around them, which may, or may not, encourage them to work hard and go to school.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with the arguments made by Madelyn. I first liked how she narrowed down her discussion by focusing on the modern teenages motivation to do community service and engage with those in poverty. Her example of how most teens these days only do community service to scratch it off an "hours" sheet or because they were forced to by a judge, teacher, etc. is definitly true of most teenagers espeacially around our area. I will definitly take responsibilty and say that my motivations to help out in the community are often times driven by a reward and not by compassion. In class, we discussed how people are either motivated by fear or compassion, but I believe that there are many other ways one can be motivated. Like Madelyn suggested, most teenagers could care less about the service they are doing becasue they are selfishly concerned about the reward that they will recieve. Pride is definitly a form of motivation for teenagers because we feel like if we do a certain amount of service we will viewed a "compassionate leader of the community" by colleges when we put our exaggerated community service hours in our resume. Poverty isn't something that can be solved by putting forth a certain amount of hours into a soup kitchen; it will only be solved by sincere, continual action soley motivated by compassion and not reward.