the season

Yesterday, for a little project that I am supporting, I was searching in google for "pictures war Syria". Don't. Just do not google this. Quelle horreur.

I was looking for  a picture that sort of says "we need help". Well, you know: It is the season and I think... X-mas: It is the perfect occasion for us to try to do good. And sometimes, sometimes we have to give to the beggar or the junkie on the street, because our heart tells us to do so although our brain tells us that we won't make a big difference or that we actually shouldn't because we are perpetuating a situation.

Anyhow, I was also preparing for the upcoming advent days over the weekend, and this year, I will do things differently there. I decided that I will not do a draw for fragrant goodies every day during the advent days Dec. 1- 24, but that I will also do some charity and that I will invite my readers to do the same. You know: What we experience these past few weeks/months/years is - I think- an epoch-making change, and maybe an invitation to consider relooking at some things.

Quite a while ago, on facebook, there was a post on Looking Feeling Smelling Great, that made me think. It was not a good post, it was sarcastic, and of little help, by some guy who 's not part of the community, but the underlying thought was good. The post was removed pretty soon. Basically, the guy made a link between our spending for perfume and children dying in Africa because there is war and not enough food. A critical topic.

I thought a lot about it since then. Because: I am convinced that people actually want to do good. Most of them. You just have to tell them how.

Anyhow, I was thinking about it, and I have not really decided yet how to do it: A "donate 1% of your perfume purchase" button might work. Or a link in a post-sales mail. Just a friendly invitation; and maybe - sort of to motivate the donors- a promise that we will do the same.

Actually, thinking further, it would be super cool if every online perfume store would do so. And it would be even cooler if someone would take the idea and sort of institutionalize it, simplify it and make sure that the donations go to the right place. etc... to be continued.

Today's picture: A boy, sad and in need of help.


9 thoughts on “the season”

  • Dear Andy - very wise and timely post! I share all of your thoughts! have a big day :-)

  • These are good thoughts, yes, but I venture that we can help very easily by just looking around us and seeing who needs help. I live in a big city and my friend runs a homeless shelter. They always need help and I know that is goes to good use. Many other such existing institutions around us. We tend to put on blinders because it is too painful to see - and I certainly understand that, however, I say open our eyes and look around and then you can see where you are needed.

  • I agree Andy - I also think most people want to help, but may become overwhelmed by the need all around us and don't know where to start. Thank you for this kind thought about helping others.

    Perhaps we can give up a holiday indulgence for ourselves, and give that money to charity. Or give of our time to a local food bank or outreach program.

  • right on andy!! we can all swerve in the direction you are pointing out. grateful to participate in doing good this season. wonderful thoughts to you andy and everyone. everyone makes a difference. thanks for the peaceful thinking.

  • Looks like you found a good solution for your advent calendar this year! Thank you for offering it again this year, it's always fun. :-)

  • You are a very thoughtful person. And deep thinking is what we need to do to address the inequities that result in everything from junkies to war. I would eant you to consider the downside of the 1% scheme. This idea that every time we consume something it will help someone - my pair of Toms will result in a child somewhere wearing shoes removes me from the question of why the child does not have shoes in the first place. It is better to address the question of inequity at its source. A criticism of what is now termed "effective altruism is here:

  • Yes, Mridula
    Not easy. I read the article (diagonally, early in the morning). And then I read an article about Afghanistan in the newspaper and how much money poured in there without leading to much progress. ... The bottom line of the article: Afghanistan might be better off without help. sort of.

  • It is remarkable how well able people are at taking care of their issues if they are left alone to do it. Indeed Afghanistan might perhaps have been better off if left alone.

    And for those who live in nations that enjoy plenty, they will still have homegrown inequities to address and as well repressive economic and foreign policies their governments practice abroad. And addressing the latter is a tall order such that once it is decided this is the route to take I cannot imagine there will be time for anything else.

  • I would have been very curious to read the post that got censored by the admins of Looking Feeling Smelling Great, which made a connection between the Westerners' spending obscene amounts of money for perfume and children dying in Africa because there is war and not enough food. If I had read that "controversial" comment, I would have decided whether it was helpful or not.

    As far as I'm concerned, the insatiable demand for cheap raw materials must be undermined. To this day Europe remains interested in the valuable raw materials of Africa, for instance, and Europe wants to get those raw materials cheap.


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