Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Stop "Making A Difference"

Thomas Sowell makes a number of good points with this article and it is worth a reading. His first point concerns the current, fashionable need to "make a difference" and to "give back" without much care to what kind of difference you are making and to whom you are actually giving back. Good point. Hitler made a difference but most people would agree we would have been better off without his efforts. Those that worked so hard to get DDT banned made a difference too and so far that difference has cost thousands of Africans their lives due to malaria and other insect born diseases. In their rush to "make a difference" many people see the issue as black and white and do not properly weigh the ramifications or consequences of their actions. They are in such a hurry to "do something" that they don't notice until it is too late or don't care that their "something" makes things worse than they were before they got involved but at least they "meant well" and their "hearts were in the right place".

His other point has to do with "giving back" and this need people have to insist that corporations or people of means must "give something back". What they usually, actually mean is to give money to their cause du jour. To give to the right social causes to help the right groups because you OWE it to them as if you are only where you are today because you took from these others. As Thomas points out, to truly give back in a way that helps society and supports the ideals that allow us to be where we are today is to give to those groups and organizations that actively support this country and the freedoms that have made this country possible. Unfortunately, most of those types of groups are not on any progressive 'A' list. Things like "free needle exchange" or "free condoms" is not giving back. Job training programs are. Supporting those causes and organizations that work to help people help themselves are worth supporting with time, effort and money verses those organizations that simply deliver handouts and excuses.

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