After writing my last post, I realized that I could afford to donate (at least) $10 to the Haiti cause. So I grabbed my phone and texted “Haiti” to 90999 to donate $10 to the American Red Cross. I don’t feel “good” about it because it’s not enough, but I like knowing that this text message campaign has raised millions of dollars, and I’m a small part of it.
My last post about my not donating got some pretty passionate responses, one being from an anonymous reader upset by my thoughts. The reader didn’t completely get what I was saying (they thought I said you can only donate through a church, which is not what I was saying… I was just commenting on how the world is full of “missions” and people doing charity for their religion, if you don’t have religion or the constant reminder to give with the guilt that comes along with it, you have to find your own reason and motivation to donate or volunteer.) Also, looking overall at the animal kingdom, we are the only species that helps out fellow animals in need (that I know of) — we are built to do what’s needed to survive and to pass on the best to our offspring so our DNA can continue on into the future. So without “God” and with science only, we need empathy and compassion for humanity as a whole. That’s not a bad thing, but then you take on additional guilt — if your reason for helping is God / the church, where if you give a little God will reward you after death, and you think being a good person and helping others is good for you and secures you a one-way-ticket to heaven postmortem, it’s a little easier to do a small amount of volunteer work and feel good about it. When it’s solely about empathy for the pains of mankind, that empathy becomes overwhelming. The world is a sad and scary place.
Regardless, I donated $10 because it’s the least I can do. I’ve been very strict with my budget this month (with my aim to save $20k this year) so $10 won’t kill me. I know it’s not enough, I’m trying to figure out my budget for next month to see if it would be possible to give more.