Tuesday, 9 August 2016

How altruistic are you ?

A group of people are giving their wages away to help others... Social campaigns like the Ice Bucket Challenge and No-makeup Selfie are becoming pretty inescapable. 

At any one time, at least one person on my social media feed is running the length of one country or another, or cycling to a foreign capital, with an accompanying plea to give money to charity. 

Obviously, all this selflessness is commendable up to a point, and the effort involved catches people's imaginations, but you could be forgiven for wondering if there's a much easier and more effective way to be 'charitable' which is a paternalistic approach that is dubious, in that it doesn't recognise the person, just the issue.... and evokes in some part, pity.

True altruism can be practised by anyone, it doesn't require money, or running the wall of china, least of all bolstering charities. It can be done simply by engaging with people and respecting their differences, our biggest disablement is inflicted on us by others via social isolation...   Propping up charities that identify you as someone needing help all the time, when the reason they do, is because 'society' has sidelined them, isn't addressing that.  We don't care as we should.

The real answer, is in 'society' facing up to its own attitudes, perceptions, approaches, and prejudice. We shouldn't be encouraging charity, they exist to create a feel good factor for those, who would rather avoid making the real effort of accepting others.... and thus negating the need for a handout, to maintain an unacceptable status quo.

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