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Heroes Community > Other Side of the Monitor > Thread: What have you done to deserve your life?
Thread: What have you done to deserve your life? [ This thread is 2 pages long: (1) 2 ]
DonGio
DonGio


Promising
Famous Hero
of Clear Water Mountain Clan
posted June 22, 2005 06:28 AM

What have you done to deserve your life?

Please take this short survey:

What did you do to:

-be born in the country you were born in?

-get the parents you have? Ancestry?

-get the talents you have?

-get the personality you have? Your vices and your virtues, your temper and your dispositions?

-belong to the social class you are a part of?

In short; would you be where you are today if one or more of the conditions above were changed?

For the inhabitants of the first world (USA, Europe, parts of southeastern Asia):
And if you answer no, how can you accept and abide the global injustice we face today?


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Khayman
Khayman


Promising
Famous Hero
Underachiever
posted June 22, 2005 10:23 AM bonus applied.
Edited By: Khayman on 22 Jun 2005

Guilt? None here...

What did you do to:

-be born in the country you were born in? Nothing

-get the parents you have? Ancestry? Nothing

-get the talents you have? Original talents, nothing.  However, I have worked quite hard to make good use of those talents.

-get the personality you have? Your vices and your virtues, your temper and your dispositions? I am a product of my family values and my social environment when I was growing up.  The end product could have been much worse if I did not have the self-discipline to stay away from the 'bad' kids and did not have the proper motiviation to make my life better than it was when I was younger.

-belong to the social class you are a part of? I chose a career path in which I was forced to give up many personal freedoms, along with several years of my life.  As a result, I was able to put myself through college and develop some skills that made me desirable in today's unpredictable job market.  

In short; would you be where you are today if one or more of the conditions above were changed? No

For the inhabitants of the first world (USA, Europe, parts of southeastern Asia):
And if you answer no, how can you accept and abide the global injustice we face today?
(see below)

Hello DonGio,

Thank you for the reflective questions.  I am not sure, but I believe that you are trying to make the following point:  That some people (i.e. first world inhabitants) should take action or feel guilty about the global injustice of today's world, especially as a result of the fact that they did nothing to inherit their current positions in life.  As if those first world inhabitants were given something they did not deserve, so therefore, they should 'make things right' by acknowledging their good fortune and attempt to stop the global injustice.
That is what I believe you are saying.

Now, as a fortunate citizen of what you call a 'first world' country, here is my answer to your last question...

Don, I am aware that basically I 'hit the lottery' as far as my social and economic standing in today's world.  On the flip side, however, I am also caught in the web of today's fast-paced, materialistic, and self-gratifying society (as many of us are).  Now, this is more of an observation than a cry for change.  Frankly, my good fortune does not generate enough appreciation or guilt to make me want to change my current lifestyle, especially not for the benefit of those less fortunate (most of whom I will never see in my lifetime).  That is just the way I look at things.

Now, just a few reflective question of my own (which you can also ask yourself)...

-Would I ever relinquish my material possessions in order to see what it is like for the less fortunate to exist in today's world?  Not likely.  (I am not sure how long I could manage without a hot shower or a cool drink of refrigerated water).  

-Do I lose sleep at night because there are children starving in third world countries as I lay sleeping in my comfortable bed?  Not a wink.  

-Is it fair that I am so blessed with many of the comforts of life while others have none?  Not sure, but I am thankful for what I have been given.  

-Do I ever volunteer my time to make my community a better place?  Yes, but not as often as I would like.

-Where am I going with this post?  Not quite sure yet, but there may be a point somewhere.

Let me give you a personal example from my own life to illustrate some ofmy thoughts on these issues.  Do you know how much money I donated to the tsunami monetary relief efforts?  NONE.  ZERO.  ZILCH.  Relief efforts asking for money will never again receive a penny of my money, regardless of the cause.  Now, I already know what some readers may be thinking.  "Khayman, you ungrateful, selfish, uncaring individual.  How could you not give money to this noble and worthy cause?"  My answer is simple.  I am not shallow or foolish enough (nor am I that overridden with guilt about my current lifestyle)  to think that writing a check for $20, $50, or even $100 is going to help others the way I think it will.  Americans are the most pathetic, guilt-ridden, and materialistic creatures in today's world.  They believe that money solves all of the world's problems, not to mention that by donating money it makes them feel better about themselves.  That is the ultimate symbol of the almighty dollar being the new god of today's world.  Here is your typical American and how they think:

"Oh, look, another problem!  Let's just throw some money at it.  Now, don't I just feel wonderful about myself!  I am a good person, because I gave others some of my money.  I have done my part to make the world a better place!  Now, I need a vacation!"

You see, I am all for making the world a better place, but I believe that you have to start within your own family and community first before moving into the larger arenas.  When it comes to donating money, I am appalled at how much of a monetary donation actually makes it to the final destination and cause.  If you feel the need to make a donation to a relief effort, then I strongly suggest donating food or clothing, so the organizations running the effort have less of an opportunity to 'take their share' and compensate themselves for their efforts.  It is a shame, but the world is a very corrupt place, especially with the adoption of capitalism and its cutthroat business practices all across the globe.  If you can find me an honest businessman (or businesswoman) in today's world, I would be impressed.  Now, if you can find me an honest politician or government figure in today's world, I would be astonished.  The best way to make a difference in today's world is not to donate money or give material gifts, but rather give the only gift that is almost as precious as your life itself...and that gift is your time.

If you are truly passionate about wanting to make the world a better place (or even if you feel the need to help deal with your guilt of being more fortunate than others), I dare any of you who are reading this to volunteer one entire day of your time to make a difference.  As a personal example, earlier this year I spent an entire day of my free time (not when I was supposed to be working, nor was I receiving compensation) cleaning up the community playground and park.  Was world peace a result of my efforts? Probably not.  Could I have paid some unemployed person $20 to clean the park for me?  Absolutely.  Did I think I made the world a better place?  In a way, I actually did.  I helped make the playground a cleaner place where families could take their children without the possibility of getting cut on a broken bottle or stung by the swarm of bees hovering around an overflowing trash can.  I do not know for sure, but perhaps I did not even make a difference.  Regardless, I would rather choose to give of my time instead of my money any day of the week.

Unfortunately, there are problems in the world and there are people who are much less fortunate than we are.  As for me, I am quite fortunate, but I am aware enough to realize this fact.  I do not feel I need to give back to others as a result of my good fortune.  However, I am all for making the world a better place.  I do that by starting at home, then my community.  I have come to realize that money does not buy happiness, and time is the most precious commodity (besides life itself) that we possess.

Note: Now, Don, please do not ask me what I think about the United States' $674 million African relief assistance contribution.  We may take up all of Valeriy's server space.
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Corribus
Corribus

Hero of Order
The Abyss Staring Back at You
posted June 22, 2005 11:34 AM

If only everyone felt this way, Khayman, the collective effort WOULD make the world a better place.

Corribus

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2XtremeToTake
2XtremeToTake


Promising
Supreme Hero
posted June 22, 2005 05:47 PM


Please take this short survey:

What did you do to:

-be born in the country you were born in? Absoloutly Nothing

-get the parents you have? Ancestry? Absoloutly Nothing

-get the talents you have? Practice and Training.

-get the personality you have? Your vices and your virtues, your temper and your dispositions? Experienced many things, made my own decisions.

-belong to the social class you are a part of? Nothing...

In short; would you be where you are today if one or more of the conditions above were changed?  See Below

For the inhabitants of the first world (USA, Europe, parts of southeastern Asia):
And if you answer no, how can you accept and abide the global injustice we face today?


global injustice? Im not exactly sure about what you mean. As Khayman stated, i was fortunate enough to be born in the First World, why i dont know, luck i guess.

But Global Injustice? The Injustice you speak of is only in your eyes. What is injust in one's eyes may be perfectly just in another? Who's to say Evil is Evil? Us?  Who Defines Evil and Good?

Perhaps by Injustice you mean the war going on, and people dying unnessacarily, or global poverty? The environment? The shady politics going on? I accept what i cannot change and that that does not affect me in any way. Im sorry and this may sound somewhat coldblooded, but dont get me wrong, i do feel extremly sorry for those who are not as fortunate as I, but its not MY problem. I'm not saying i dont care, but it doesnt  affect me in any way. For example If a starving person from a second world country came to my door, i would feed them, but would not grant them shelter in my home.

Im one of those people who just tend to go along with the flow. I don't desire conflict, If a war between "good and evil" erupted at this minute, i would be on the neutral side.


Im sorry if i didnt answer your questions correctly.

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DonGio
DonGio


Promising
Famous Hero
of Clear Water Mountain Clan
posted June 23, 2005 11:51 AM

Hi, guys, and thanks for the replies.

I was not trying to make anyone feel guilty at all. Rather aware.

And 2Xtreme, a talent is something you're born with, like perfect pitch or a head for numbers. What you do with your talents is up to you, of course, but you can do very little to gain them in the first place.

I've been thinking about our world a lot lately. And I see so many people around me, whose only thoughts, motivations, and actions seem to revolve around self-gratification. And I wonder if they ever stop and think about what they have done to earn their lives. They seem to take all the good things in their lives for granted and as something they've somehow earned.

I agree with much of what you're saying, Khayman, about throwing money at problems to alleviate our conscience(s). But although the idea of starting with ourselves and our neighbourhood is good, I think the severity of some of the problems in the third world should force us to take a different approach.

As a christian I believe that all human life is sacred and of equal worth, and that we have an obligation to help those less fortunate, those who are starving, dying or running away from war. I also think it is more important to live the gospel than to preach it (i.e. I'm more concerned with loving my neighbour than what sexual preference said neighbour has). And while I see the merit of your arguments on economical help, it is definitely necessary. I too wish that more people would involve themselves personally and spend time and effort solving the world's problems, and be more aware and make more informed choices.

Concrete suggestions:

Buy Max Havelaar (Transfair/Fairtrade) coffee and other products. When you buy this coffee, you are guaranteed that the cocoa farmers are treated and paid according to international Fair Trade criteria. This might not seem like much, but if enough people do it, we might see a shift in the world's economic balance (which I think I can safely say is skewed) and minimize the exploitation of third-world countries and inhabitants by first-world countries and inhabitants. It might not be the cheapest coffee available, but at least you're sure that all the involved parties are treated fairly.

See here for places to buy these products in the US:
[link url="http://www.transfairusa.org/do/whereToBuy"]Here[/link]

I have to go now, and will be away on holiday for the next week and a half, but please keep posting. I think this thread has potential.

God bless,
DonGio
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Svarog
Svarog


Honorable
Supreme Hero
statue-loving necrophiliac
posted June 27, 2005 07:04 PM

Nice subject.
Quote:
The best way to make a difference in today's world is not to donate money or give material gifts, but rather give the only gift that is almost as precious as your life itself...and that gift is your time.

Yes, I have to admit – it sounds idealistic and heart-breakening, but…
Money is a trading commodity, just as time. And as they say “Time is money.”, and you get the perfect money-time conversion formula (maybe some currency variables, but oh well...) . Call me a cold pragmatist, but with enough money earned for little time (if you hold a high-paid job) you can hire cheap workers to spend their time for some benevolent purpose and be much more effective than if you wasted your time as unefficiently as contributing urself.
You seem to be suggesting that if all Americans spent their time to clean their backyard the world would be a better place. And no one in the world needs food, shelter, clean water (what money in reality isnt, but can easily become). Heehe, need i comment..
You do have a point though when u say that humanitarian actions are nothing but guilt-ridding travesties for rich Americans. Why? Because its a hipocrisy at work here. Large-scale exploitation and only a tiny tiny fraction goes back as humanitarian aid. And certainly a chance for the exploitators to feel good about themselves (i don’t mean the specific donors here). The catch is, of course, as always, with the amount of money. But you arent contributing any more by not donating anything as well. Even the one who gave 10$ contributed more than you baby to make the world a better place. Your revelating awareness that its not gonna change much still makes that fat-ass naïve fool more deserving of the victims gratitude than you are.
The second catch is, the change of the global exploitatory system, for which there lacks huge potential and democratic will, both in America and other power centers. And that frustrates me. But this thread is a tiny tiny contribution towards creating such potential. It makes a difference.
Quote:
And if you answer no, how can you accept and abide the global injustice we face today?

The question of personal responsibility is a double-blade sword as well. If you in no way contributed to getting a superior position, then you also in no way contributed in creating such system. Then why feel the need to change it, especially if it serves you? And this is the line of though for many people in the West, and I cant blame them really. It takes a strong individual to rise above himself and accept freedom and equality as his highest ideal.
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Peacemaker
Peacemaker


Honorable
Supreme Hero
Peacemaker = double entendre
posted July 13, 2005 04:15 PM
Edited By: Peacemaker on 13 Jul 2005

Quote:
As a personal example, earlier this year I spent an entire day of my free time (not when I was supposed to be working, nor was I receiving compensation) cleaning up the community playground and park.
Khayman, you old softie you, I knew all along you had a big heart in that well-developed chest of yours.

While I think you're right about America throwing money at problems and the consumption of the global economy by cut-throat capitalism (well-argued by the way), I want to point some things out about "donating" to "charity."

There are some situations where, because the entire global economy is now dominated by the afore-mentioned monetary system, money is absolutely essential from a purely practical standpoint, to assistance with emergencies and other situations.  Depending on the organization, the money may or may not be used effectively.

Recent reports indicate that the money gone to the tsunami relief efforts has been very effective in buying food, clothing and reconstruction supplies for the affected areas.  And while sending actual food and clothing may at first blush seem like a better idea, for several reasons it is not.  

First, when money is sent to the area it goes to purchase the required goods more locally, stimulating the economy surrounding the affected area (thus bolstering the economic recovery of the affected area itself).  Second, the cost of sending actual goods, rather than the money to purchase them, is impractical because of the pure volume and nature of materials.  In other words, it is cheaper to send a stack of one hundred dollar bills (or wire the money to the area) than to stuff airplanes and ships with the huge volume of the goods in question and tote them over there, try to distribute food before it spoils, etc.

Furthermore, if pragmatism is one of your guiding principles, for several reasons our relief actions benefit us, both indirectly and directly, particularly on the global political level.  There is the positive appearance internationally of our reconstruction efforts (at a time when our global reputation has been suffereing rather badly when we most need it to be otherwise).  Aside from that and more directly, there were several of the affected countries brewing pro-Islamist-Fundamentalist, Anti-Western movements and cells.  After having lost everything including huge numbers of their families, indivudals associated with these movements, and those around them who might have been more motivated to become supporters, suddenly found themselves crowded around American and other Western airplanes, receiving clean water, tent supplies, medical assistance and rice -- from the very uniformed soldiers they had come to see as the enemy.  Way I understand it this had a real impact on some of those cells.  What better opportunity to "win the hearts and minds" of individuals in such a position?

I have had a foster sister (when I was a kid -- used my allowance) and a foster son through the Christian Childrens' Fund.  While I am not a Christian, because of my personal experiences with people in South America I've come to know through that organization, I realise it is largely effective and fairly well-organized.  The organizational reports indicate that eighty percent of my $28.00 per month actually got to my foster son which was verified in our letters to one another (the other twenty percent went to administration of the Fund).  

His name is Isaac Rodriguez De Sousa and he is from Bolivia.  I lost touch with him after he grew up and went to college, but adopted him when he was ten years old and paid for his school bills, food, medicine and much of his clothing  for nine years.  He credits me for being the only way he could ever have gotten to college.  He was one of nine children in a poverty-stricken family, all had different sponsors, and from the looks of his letters, all of them did well in school.  The last photo I got from him, he was a strapping six-foot two young man, playing basketball on an outside court, wearing a brand new pair of Nikes he'd purchased with a Christmas check I sent him. I know -- westernization -- but man did he love those shoes.

He was way too thin and never smiling in the first few photos I got, but as the years passed the photos revealed an increasingly smiling, healthy boy, then teenager, then college student playing basketball with his buddies on the campus court.

Did I feel good about that?  Goddamned right I did.  Was it guilt motivated?  As an American (under the influence of my culture) I have no idea.  But in my mind guilt is not a word I attach to anything between me and Issac.  It was more like compassion, then friendship, then love -- the realization that for about thirty dollars a month I could help directly, profoundly transform a human being's entire life.  At the end of it, our attitude was "Yeah -- WE DID IT!!!"  (Isaac and me, that is.)

By the way, I specifically request children from Christian families when I engage that organization, so that I don't have a direct hand in any sort of prosthelitization, which I am adamantly against.  The De Souza family were already strict Catholics when they became sponsored by the CCF.

I'll admit that real effective relief efforts and organizations are pretty few and far between, but they're out there.  If pursued wisely, individual Americans CAN engage them, and they CAN make a difference.  I dunno what the larger spiritual implications of guilt motivations are, but at the moment Isaac received his degree he probably didn't give a damn about any of that.

Don Gio, sorry if I drug your thread a little off-topic here.

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bort
bort


Honorable
Supreme Hero
Discarded foreskin of morality
posted July 13, 2005 04:38 PM

When I donate money, aren't I essentially donating the time I spent and the work I did earning that money?

Impressively high horse, though.
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Peacemaker
Peacemaker


Honorable
Supreme Hero
Peacemaker = double entendre
posted July 13, 2005 04:52 PM

Quote:
When I donate money, aren't I essentially donating the time I spent and the work I did earning that money?
(In case this question was directed at me, or even if it wasn't)

Yep, sure seems like it.  Only you can't donate the time and work (in cases of overseas or long-distance efforts, which most of them are) without buying a ticket, getting on a plane, flying to the place, and then trying to find your way to an area where the time and work need to be invested in order to achieve the same purpose without spending ten times the money (which would buy ten times the rice locally).

Quote:
Impressively high horse, though.
(In case this comment was directed at me, or even if it wasn't)

Forgive my stupid look (In case this comment was directed at your first observation, or even if it wasn't.)  Now you've completely lost me.

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Khayman
Khayman


Promising
Famous Hero
Underachiever
posted July 13, 2005 05:49 PM

Quote:
When I donate money, aren't I essentially donating the time I spent and the work I did earning that money?

Impressively high horse, though.
No, you're not essentially donating the time you spent at work earning the money.  You are sending a portion of your discretionary income that you earned from employment.  However, what you are actually doing is volunteering your money instead of volunteering your time.  If it makes you feel better, you can essentially rationalize it any way you see fit.
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Peacemaker
Peacemaker


Honorable
Supreme Hero
Peacemaker = double entendre
posted July 13, 2005 06:10 PM
Edited By: Peacemaker on 13 Jul 2005

Quote:
However, what you are actually doing is volunteering your money instead of volunteering your time. If it makes you feel better, you can essentially rationalize it any way you see fit.


(Ummmm...)

Sorry, guys -- did I strike some sort of nerve here?

I didn't really mean to argue that donating money is any better than donating time under ALL circumstances.  I was just really trying to make the point that it can be very effective in SOME situations.

Personally I find it more fulfilling to go into an elderly person's back yard and do her lawn work myself.  I can't do that in Sri Lanka or South America, but I can do other things.  It really just depends on the situation, right?  

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bort
bort


Honorable
Supreme Hero
Discarded foreskin of morality
posted July 13, 2005 09:35 PM - penalty applied.

Quote:
Quote:
When I donate money, aren't I essentially donating the time I spent and the work I did earning that money?

Impressively high horse, though.
No, you're not essentially donating the time you spent at work earning the money.  You are sending a portion of your discretionary income that you earned from employment.  However, what you are actually doing is volunteering your money instead of volunteering your time.  If it makes you feel better, you can essentially rationalize it any way you see fit.


So have I volunteered my time by spending a day cleaning up a park so spoiled suburbanites can go there instead of their back yark?  Yeah.  You know how much a difference it made?  None.  Nobody went there before hand and nobody went there afterwards and nobody ever sat on the bench I build.  Congratusnowinglations for helping people that don't need any help.  

Have you been to any of these places where people "just throw money at the problem"?  I'm guessing no because if you had, you'd know that $20, even after graft and corruption still makes more of a goddamn difference to some kid who sleeps on a dirt floor and drinks out of a river that people snow in than repainting a park bench in Charlotte does.  You know why?  Because it's the difference between somebody dying of goddamn polio or not.  That's right, a couple of bucks and you can vaccinate someone against polio.  snowin' eh, I've admistered the vaccine.  It's a goddamn oral vaccine, it's easy, villagers line their kids up to get it because they'd rather have a living kid than a corpse in a beautiful park, there just need to be enough funds to pay for the doses.  But hey, feel free to look down your nose at somebody who bellied up to the snowing bar and ponied up the cash to save a life.  You're so damn much better because you emptied a trash barrel instead.

Don't get me wrong, volunteering your time is good and admirable, but it doesn't give you the right to have a holier-than-thou attitude towards somebody who also opened their checkbooks.
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Peacemaker
Peacemaker


Honorable
Supreme Hero
Peacemaker = double entendre
posted July 13, 2005 09:54 PM

(Boy did I misinterpret your first post, bort.)

Uh oh, I foresee a Peacemaker intervention happening here.  Bort, Khayman, please both of you, take this a post at a time. (You know how I hate it whem my friends fight...)

I really think all our hearts are in the right place.  But most of all,  I think you both know I respect you guys, and everyone should take into consideration, based on the train of conversation, that we have some nerves we're hitting here.

Dun' ya think????

P.S.  It's really hard to know what the right thing is to do, in many contexts.  Maybe we should explore this a bit further to see where it goes.

P.P.S.  We're all three Americans (Khay, Peace, and bort).  Maybe Don Gio hit a nerve on this issue with all of us.


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2XtremeToTake
2XtremeToTake


Promising
Supreme Hero
posted July 13, 2005 11:17 PM

I'm with Bort here, at least by my interpretation i am.

Donating money to sponser vaccines for polio would be better than going to Ethiopia and painting a park bench.

But think of it this way, Money = Work = Time....So essentially, if you donate the money that you worked for, you are donating your work and time.


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I almost had a psychic girlfriend but she left me before we met.

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Khayman
Khayman


Promising
Famous Hero
Underachiever
posted July 14, 2005 01:28 AM

Welcome to The Price Is Right

Bort, spoken like a true capitalist!  I commend you for your ability to put a price tag and an opportunity cost on everything in life, including your time.

Just in case you need another example of your type of thinking, then just look below again at 2Xtreme's post:
Quote:
But think of it this way, Money = Work = Time....So essentially, if you donate the money that you worked for, you are donating your work and time.


You see, it is all a matter of principle.  (Notice I said principle, not principal, just in case the readers of this post are continuing to equate everything to some monetary value).  You define yourself by your actions, and if you want to define yourself as someone who is willing to take credit for  good deeds by outsourcing your work to others, then so be it.  Besides that option, the only remaining choice would be to do nothing...wait, I stand corrected...you can complain about it as you sit in front of your keyboard.  I almost forgot about that, so thanks for reminding me.  

By the way, I also have the right to be holier-than-thou if I so desire.  In return, you also have the right to disagree with me, which is why this is such a wonderful place.  Donate your money if that is what you choose.  Make the world a better place.  I am sure people will have many fond memories about signing their name on that check to help solve the world's problems, $20 at a time.  As for volunteering your time to administer oral polio vaccinations, I commend you. (I'm assuming you did that for free, right?)  

So my advice to you, Bort, is go find yourself a horse...on second thought, why don't you just buy one?  It may save you some of your precious time.
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Peacemaker
Peacemaker


Honorable
Supreme Hero
Peacemaker = double entendre
posted July 14, 2005 03:24 PM
Edited By: Peacemaker on 14 Jul 2005

Boys -- BOOYS!!!   --- Wait ----

(Ducks between words as hunks of mud fly overhead between bort and Khayman)

This isn't a contest to prove one or the other's method of contribution isn't legitimate --

Is it?

(Ducks again)

Isn't the whole point to get the job done????

(FLING -------  SPLAT)

And doesn't that mean ---

(Ducks again)

That the method has to fit the needs in any given situation????

(FLING ------- SPLAT)
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2XtremeToTake
2XtremeToTake


Promising
Supreme Hero
posted July 14, 2005 03:41 PM

Khayman, i honestly do not see where you are coming from. Then again I'm not entirely sure if I am interpreting you two right. But anyways, think of it this way


Ok, say for example, instead of donating money, you go to Ethiopia and donate your time and work. Say you start building houses. Thats all good. But what happens if EVERYONE is hired from other countries to work there and build houses? What happens when these people want to go home?

Money that is donated can be spent to pay the Ethiopians themselves to build the houses, that way the Ethiopians are getting paid to work, and they have themsevles the houses. The money can also be used to build schools and other educational purposes, to train the third world on modern technology.

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Romana
Romana


Responsible
Supreme Hero
Thx :D
posted July 14, 2005 05:40 PM

ok..I totally been living with this question for such a long time..What did i do to deserve this

And i learned it's not a matter of deserving..it's just life. snow happens but also a lot of beautifull things.

I used to let the few horrible things that happened overcloud every happy moment. But parenthood made me want to change and bring happiness in my daughter's life and as a result also happiness in mine, despite all the problems and worries about whether i deserve something or not.

..and here I go again singing praises about my daughter LOL

(I'm so in love!)
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Khayman
Khayman


Promising
Famous Hero
Underachiever
posted July 14, 2005 05:55 PM

Priceless Artwork

Hello, 2Xtreme.

I believe I understand your point-of-view.  I just have my own way looking at the "good deeds" of the world.  A good deed is indeed a good deed, regardless of the way you choose to carve it up and examine it.  However, I choose to perform my good deeds in a different manner than others, that is all.  Perhaps my good deeds will never make a difference, or even make less of a difference than another's good deed.  We all have different measuring sticks for determining the results of our actions, which I believe is a fair assumption.  Perhaps I can try to "paint" a little better picture of my point-of-view for you with an analogy.

Let's just say you have a passion or a desire or some compelling interest in...let's say...painting.  So, you have a few options:  (a) You can buy a painting  (b) You can hire someone to paint a painting for you (c) You can take the time and effort to paint a painting yourself.

Now, it is your choice to decide which way you want to act upon your interest.  All three ways you will end up with a painting, that much is true, but I refuse to accept the simplicity of that statement.  So let's take a closer look.  

Now, you weigh your option in this decision.  You may believe that because you do not have the time to pursue this passion yourself, you would rather just buy it outright.  You may believe that you are not talented enough to paint the painting yourself, so you would rather pay someone else to do it while you pursue other interests with the time required.  You may believe that regardless of how valuable you think your time is, you are willing to put in your own time and effort to attempt to paint your own painting.

With that being said, just take a minute to think about the following questions:

Will all three paintings look alike?
Will they all have the same significance?
What value will each painting possess?

If you received all three paintings as personal gifts, which one would mean more to you?  One that was purchased, one that was painted by someone else, or one that was made personally by that individual.

Now, just take another moment to think about how much your time is worth.  You may think about this and say, "I make $10 per hour at my job; therefore, an hour's worth of my time and effort is worth $10."  Sounds logical, right?  Well, in my opinion, I say that is not only incorrect, but I believe that putting a monetary value or a 'price tag' on your time is part of the problem with the world today.  If that is how you chose to value your time, then it would be logical for you to say, "Well, it would take me 4 hours to paint a painting myself; therefore, I am willing to pay $40 to just buy a painting or have someone else paint one for me, because that is how much I would be making at work.  Either way, it is all the same."

I say it is not the same.  For those of you who are actually employed and feel your work is vital to the success of your employer, then here is what I recommend:  Go ahead and chose a day where you feel you are needed at your job.  That morning, go ahead and give your employer a call and let them know you will not be coming to work that morning.  Tell them you are not taking vacation time, nor are you taking a personal day where you will be compensated for your time off.  Then tell them that the reason you are not coming in to work is because you want to spend those four hours performing some good deed or random act of kindness.  Tell them that instead of coming to work for four hours, getting paid $40 for your time, and using that money to perform a good deed, you are just going to go ahead and perfrom the good deed instead.  Inform your employer that is where your time and effort is going anyway, so you will just do it yourself this morning instead of coming to work.  Then, show up to work that afternoon and let me know what happens.  My guess is that many of you may no longer have a job.

Now, if you chose to perform your good deed on your day off, would it be different?  Why?  Because time and effort spent at work (making money for yourself and possibly someone else) is different from time and effort drawn from your free time (where money should not even enter the equation).  Unfortunately, it does with most people these days.  

Side Note:  I never thought I would read some of the things that Svarog wrote in his post earlier in this thread.  I thought he was opposed to that mode of thinking, but it appears as if he accepts what society and the capitalistic model has dictated to a majority of today's world.  Personally, I do not subscribe to the saying that "Time is money," but I do understand that in today's day and age, money does indeed make most of the world go 'round.

So, I choose to paint my own painting, because I believe in volunteering my own time and effort rather than paying others.  All good deeds make a difference, but IMNSHO, there is a big difference in how you go about it.  To others, there is no difference at all, and they feel as if I am acting as the moral judge of the world (more specifically Americans and capitalistic society).  Maybe I am.  Maybe I am not.  Personally, I do not care either way.  Those are my beliefs.  Those are my principles.  If you do not agree, then that is your right.  It's your choice.  
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Valeriy
Valeriy

Mage of the Land
Naughty, Naughty Valeriy
posted July 14, 2005 06:19 PM

Penalty applied to bort according to the bad language section of the code of conduct.
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Be an example of what you want to see on HC and in the world.
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