The challenges of giving
Some of the readings that have challenged me the most, probably, were the readings on good intentions and Americans coming in to help in other/third world countries. It is sad but it seems like most people who help others help to make themselves feel better about themselves, even if what they did wasn't even the best for the person or people they helped. Also, sometimes people give what they would want to receive, which isn't always bad (following the golden rule is usually a great idea), but when you're giving from a first world country to a third world country, the standard of living are just factually not the same. Sure, everyone might enjoy a brand new pair of Nikes, but if the community doesn't have access to clean, running water, Nikes are not the best way to help that community. While giving can really make the giver happy, that is not the reason we give. We (especially as Americans) really need to pay attention to the situation and the context in which we are giving. What is the best for the people in need? Sometimes giving isn't pleasant and fun, it might even be painful, uncomfortable and messy but givers can't always be choosers either. If the best way to help a community is to clean public toilets all day long, as disgusting as that might be, we need to be ready to help in any way we can without complaining. Deciding to do your own thing instead of what you've been asked isn't truly helping. Hopefully I will remember this next time I'm asked to do something I might detest.