Saturday, April 12, 2008

A crisis of food and conscience


This morning, the Globe & Mail ran Eric Reguly's report on the escalating world-wide food crisis, "How the Cupboards Went Bare".

As prices surge, starvation looms for millions.


"The causes include the turning of food into fuel (biofuels), climate change, high oil and natural gas prices, greater consumption of meat and dairy products as incomes rise, and global investment funds' strategies, which have driven up prices of corn, soybeans, wheat and rice to new highs."

Suddenly the consideration of which white shirt to buy seemed far less appealing than: what can I do?


I'm not likely to resist the siren call of more and redirect all discretionary income to reducing malnutrition, disease and famine, whether in Africa or my country... but I can give more.


I have no answers, just a question for you: how do you reconcile having and giving?

4 comments:

sjcyogi said...

My solution has been to transform my covetousness into desires for things to help others. I collect clothes and useful stuff for the native people at a reserve up north and others in my hand-me-down chain. Kind donors bring me clean used clothes and I get to sort through them, assessing suitability and who else might benefit from what. Occasionally someone donates something like a designer silk blouse or high heels, which aren't too useful on this reserve, and then I get to sell them for $5 to friends or slightly less needy acquaintances. That thrilling money goes to the native food bank or pays for gas.

In this manner I get to exercise both my acquisitiveness and letting go. I get to look after people and I get to feel generous when the bi-monthly shipments empty my basement. Everybody wins.

Duchesse said...

Sjcyogi, thanks for providing the details of your practical way to give.

Your method could be used by anyone, as a regular or occasional activity.

s. said...

I think this is a great article and one I use as a guide for my own giving.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/17/magazine/17charity.t.html

Duchesse said...

S.: I have heard Singer speak and be interviewed, thanks for this link, which could be useful to many.