Wednesday, March 17, 2010


So the inaugural blog on IMPORTANT ISSUES will be a rough one. I’m not sure ~exactly what to do, but I’ll get through it. This topic is poverty and philanthropy. Poverty obviously has to do will those less fortunate (monetary wise, I always thought). Philanthropy, I had to look up to make sure I was on the right track, is being concerned for other people’s welfare. These are topics I’m not too wound up about, quite honestly, so forgive me for any possible redundant ideas. I think that there is a limit on how compassionate people should be towards those that are less fortunate (go ahead, have a screaming fit over that one). People in less fortunate situations usually put themselves there and then never try to get out. If they refuse to go to shelters, which many do considering the essay in the Bedford we read this week, then they’re refusing help. Why should people try to help someone who doesn’t want to be helped? This isn’t all of the cases. Some other situations involve drug issues (and no, I am not saying that all poor people have drug problems). If I give money to someone begging on the street, then they turn around and buy meth with it, I’m only aiding in their self-destruction. So I am, in fact, helping these types of people by not giving them money or anything. You can only help someone as much as they want to help themselves. Now, poor doesn’t mean homeless, as I generally described above, it can mean people getting government support because they have too many children and only cashier for three hours a day. In fact, people around us can be in an impoverished state and we would never know it. How about the thousands of people in debt? They could be our next door neighbors. How they got like that, we may never know; it could be excess spending then hitting a rough patch with a job loss or something of the sort. Nevertheless, poverty is poverty and it can take many forms. How other people deal with it is the controversial part. By not helping the less fortunate, you’re viewed as a horrible person. If you have so much, why can’t you help someone else with the excess you have? Well, that’s the issue. Not everyone wants to give up what they earned for someone who possibly doesn’t deserve it. But what if these poverty stricken individuals lost everything they had due to, say, a natural disaster? Do we still keep everything for ourselves? For me, the ideal way for someone to give back is to volunteer. To go and give effort yourself is the best way to know that what you’re doing is what you wanted to accomplish exactly. If you’re too busy and you want to give money, then go ahead. But what about the beggar on the street? Would you go and give him/her twenty dollars? I sure wouldn’t. But then again, how is it any different than giving it to an organization to help the homeless? Think about it. I’d like to close with saying that the poor, the rich, the philanthropic, and the arrogant are what make the world turn. Without every possible diversification, there would be nothing for someone to strive for. Life is a constant challenge of success. Without hardship, what is success?

1 comment:

  1. Even though Allison states that she is not "too wound up about" poverty and philanthropy, she makes interesting observations and has a daring opinion about how we, as a whole, should handle the situation.
    One thing I agree with above all else is Allison's assertion that there is a limit to how compassionate we should be. Many families truly deserve that compassion, but more often than we are comfortable with we fear they don't. Another insightful observation is the possibility of living next to someone in poverty through debt. Many view poverty as an image of a family without a home or a dirty old man; not many can look at the big picture where people who seem affluent have really fallen into a vicious downward spiral. Allison's conclusion about life being a constant challenge of success is very accurate, however helping the less fortunate succeed should be a step on the way to not only financial success, but moral success.