Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Well, We Could.

We could all be heroes.

Kid President is having a little fun with Tom Hanks and we have a look at how to be a hero.

There are lots of ways to be a hero. You can even save lives without risking much of anything but a few dollars. But a true hero would sacrifice, so what keeps us from giving MORE?

We don't identify with the person in need. Maybe they don't seem real to us. Or maybe they don't look like us. Or maybe we don't believe what we are told about the need. Maybe we only hear about them but don't have a depiction of them, a photo for instance. Maybe we think of them as the unnamed poor so something. For whatever reason, we don't really connect with the person in need in any way and that gives us permission to give less, if at all.

We are indifferent. The need is somewhere far away and doesn't touch us at all. There is no advantage to us if we give more. We don't worry about those in need, lose sleep over them, or spend much time thinking about them. We just basically don't care enough. 

The responsibility for helping is diffuse. That is, there are lots of other people who know about the need and we let them be responsible for helping. We let them help. We figure we aren't responsible for others and that our part won't be missed or needed. 

Our sense of fairness kicks in and we don't want to feel like we are doing more than our fair share. Why should I help more than others? 

The use of money undermines the best and noblest in human relationships. We would gladly DO something for someone, like deliver food to the food pantry or the free lunch kitchen before we'd really sacrifice a sizable amount of money for them. Money has a way of separating us. 

When I am collecting money to buy coats for the elderly poor on the Indian Reservation there are always people who offer to give me an old coat in good condition but not willing to donate any money to buy new ones and have them sent. I've found that it costs nearly as much to ship a used coat as it does to send a new one that I don't have to ship myself. Yet no one offers to donated even the amount I'd spend on shipping their used coat!   

Money enhances individualism and diminishes communal motivation. We must be more caring to overcome the things that influence us to give less, to help less, if we want to be heroes.

Did you identify with any of these reasons for not giving more? What are your thoughts?

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