December 29th, 2014
03:52 PM ET

Why giving shouldn't be a solitary activity

By Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn

Editor's note: Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn are the authors of A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity. This is the second in a series of three guest posts.

Secular people often make giving a solitary activity at the end of the year, one that feels like a sacrifice. That’s the wrong way to think about giving back. We learned a lot from churches and temples and the way they turn giving into an enjoyable, uplifting social activity. Our profile of a master pastor at a mega-church, Bill Hybels, reveals some of the magic he employs.  We all are social animals and when we do things with a group of people we like, the activity becomes more fun.

So form a book club and engage in a few volunteer or giving activities together—or link your book club to Book Clubs for Change, Choose a need in your community or an area of the world that you all care about. Then choose a topic and an organization you might work with. Or maybe consider an on-location trip to the area and meet some of the people you want to help?

Or join a chapter of Dining for Women, which is one of the secular organizations that borrows from the religious notion of fellowship and joyous giving for a cause.  DFW has guests bring a pot luck dish to a host's home and then they all donate the money they would spend at a restaurant to a chosen cause empowering women worldwide.   Some groups have a subcommittee screen a list of finalists and the group votes on a final selection. In A Path Appears, we list some other great organizations—there’s even one called Beer for Books—that make giving a social and fun occasion.

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soundoff (1,377 Responses)
  1. Philip

    chrussty chuckle?

    January 4, 2015 at 8:00 pm |
    • banasy©

      Still looking for negative attention?

      You start it, every time.

      January 4, 2015 at 8:42 pm |
      • Blue Philip

        You are just too innocent for words, Donna.

        January 5, 2015 at 11:14 am |
      • banasy©

        Not really; you do start everything, every time.

        It was unecessary to post this; yet, you did. Why?

        January 5, 2015 at 12:37 pm |
      • Philip

        Stop talking at me. Thank you kindly. Now, go a way. Thankx.

        January 6, 2015 at 7:09 am |
      • banasy©

        No answer? Question too difficult for you?

        January 6, 2015 at 10:55 am |
  2. chri§§y

    You are NOTHING but preDICKtable philip lol. Cant you find some priests to harrass philip? Or do they all have PPOs out on you by now?

    January 4, 2015 at 8:42 pm |
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©

      Re priests, some of the finest men I have met were Roman and Anglican priests, @ Philip.
      I know many pianists, as that is my field. Some are men and women of solid gold, and some are evil.
      Most fields are that way.

      January 4, 2015 at 9:50 pm |
      • Blue Philip

        You really don't know someone unless you have lived with them for awhile. Anyone can put on airs, Joey.

        January 5, 2015 at 11:13 am |
    • Philip

      A ppo would not save them from a good old fashioned choke-down. Should a man like me be the one catching them sodomizing a little boy. That's for sure. And if there are any men like me left in America. Which I highly doubt.

      January 6, 2015 at 7:18 am |
      • Philip

        If there were a lot of men like me in the USA, surely by now, several priests caught rayping little boys would have already been choked to death.

        January 6, 2015 at 7:22 am |
      • banasy©

        Uh huh.

        January 6, 2015 at 10:57 am |
      • rupert

        Uh huh is right. For a fact if the majority of men were like me, many openly gay priests caught red handed sodomizing a little boy would be in the grave with finger marks around their throats. (Rather than being on probation)

        January 6, 2015 at 3:37 pm |
      • banasy©

        Sure thing, lying name-stealer.

        January 6, 2015 at 4:08 pm |
  3. chri§§y

    But by philips thought method those same little boys should be punished for being rayped in the first place!

    January 6, 2015 at 7:40 pm |
    • banasy©

      Don't you know that only applies to females, Chrissy? Because, you know, reasons.


      January 7, 2015 at 8:09 am |
  4. chri§§y

    Yea i spose youre right @ banasy. Ya know i told my mom what he said and after she got done callin him every cuss word she knew, and she knows alot of em, even some she made up...she said does he even realise people didnt have phones in most homes back then? Needless to say lets hope they never run into each other...or maybe we should hope they do huh lmao!

    January 7, 2015 at 10:28 am |
  5. chri§§y

    That old irish/italian lady can still kick some serious azz! And her tongue is razor sharp...can make your ears bleed, honest!

    January 7, 2015 at 10:31 am |
  6. bobcat2u

    Do her words sound something like this ?


    January 7, 2015 at 11:25 am |
    • bobcat2u

      Mornin my friends.

      January 7, 2015 at 11:27 am |
      • banasy©

        Good morning, Rawr.

        January 7, 2015 at 11:51 am |
  7. bobcat2u

    Teacher: "Kids,what does the chicken give you?"
    Student: "Eggs"
    Teacher: "Very good! Now what does the pig give you?"
    Student: "Bacon!"
    Teacher: "Great! And what does the fat cow give you?"
    Student: "Homework!"

    January 7, 2015 at 11:43 am |
  8. bobcat2u

    10 Facts About You:
    1. You're reading this now.
    2. You're realizing that this is a stupid fact.
    4. You didn't notice I skipped number 3.
    5. You're checking now.
    6. You're smiling.
    7. You're still reading this even though it is stupid.
    9. You didn't realize I skipped number 8.
    10.You're checking again and smiling because you fell for it again.
    11. You're enjoying this.
    12. You didn't realize I said 10 facts not 12.

    January 7, 2015 at 11:45 am |
  9. bobcat2u

    A family is at the dinner table. The son asks the father, “Dad, how many kinds of boobs are there?” The father, surprised, answers, “Well, son, a woman goes through three phases. In her 20s, a woman’s breasts are like melons, round and firm. In her 30s and 40s, they are like pears, still nice, hanging a bit. After 50, they are like onions.” “Onions?” the son asks. “Yes. You see them and they make you cry.” This infuriated his wife and daughter. The daughter asks, “Mom, how many different kinds of willies are there?” The mother smiles and says, “Well, dear, a man goes through three phases also. In his 20s, his willy is like an oak tree, mighty and hard. In his 30s and 40s, it’s like a birch, flexible but reliable. After his 50s, it’s like a Christmas tree.” “A Christmas tree?” the daughter asks. “Yes, dead from the root up and the balls are just for decoration.”

    January 7, 2015 at 11:52 am |
  10. bobcat2u

    There are five cows on a farm, one mamma cow and four baby calves. The first baby walks up to the mom and asks, "Momma, why is my name Rose?" The mommy cow replies, "Well honey, a rose petal fell on your head when you were born." The next calf comes up and asks, "Momma, why is my name Lily?" The mother replies, "Because honey, a lily petal fell on your head when you were born." The third baby comes up and asks, "Momma, why is my name Daisy?" The momma cow again replieds" Well, when you were born a daisy petal fell on your head." The final baby walks over and says, "Duh huh guh nuh!" The momma cow says, "Shut up, Cinderblock."

    January 7, 2015 at 12:09 pm |
  11. bobcat2u

    A guy goes to see his doctor, and the doctor says, "Well, I'm afraid you have six weeks to live." The guy says, "Oh damn, well what should I do doctor?" The doctor tells him, "You should take a mud bath once a day for the next six weeks," and the guy asks, "Why? Is that supposed to help?" and the doctor says, "No, but it'll get you used to being in the ground."

    January 7, 2015 at 12:11 pm |
  12. bobcat2u

    An investigative journalist went to Afghanistan to study the culture and was shocked to discover that women were made to walk ten paces behind the men. She asked her guide why and he said, "Because they are considered of lesser status." Outraged the journalist went home. A year later she returned covering violence in the region and was surprised to see the women walking ten paces ahead. She turned to her guide and this time asked, "What has changed?" The guide answered, "Land mines."

    January 7, 2015 at 12:16 pm |
  13. bobcat2u

    I asked a Chinese girl for her number. She said, "S ex! S ex! S ex! Free s ex tonight!" I said, "Wow!" Then her friend said, "She means 666-3629."

    January 7, 2015 at 12:21 pm |
  14. banasy©

    Oh, bobcat. SMH.

    January 7, 2015 at 12:27 pm |
    • bobcat2u

      Too much ? LOL

      January 7, 2015 at 12:30 pm |
      • banasy©

        No, not too much...the Cinderblock one made me guiltily giggle...

        January 7, 2015 at 1:07 pm |
  15. chri§§y

    OMG @ never told me you met my mother lol. Ya know what her favorite words are for pimp dummy??

    January 7, 2015 at 12:58 pm |
    • bobcat2u

      She sounds like my kind of people. When you see her, tell her I said @!$%&^%%*($###$%. She'll know what I mean.

      January 7, 2015 at 1:13 pm |
  16. chri§§y

    Oh hell no @ bobcat...they are purrfect! Wonder how long we can go undetected here? Lmao

    January 7, 2015 at 1:02 pm |
    • bobcat2u

      I figured I's slip some in before the "discussion" resumes. I see we had a musical interlude on the other story. What's really amazing, is I haven't been here for almost a week and the storyline hasn't changed.

      January 7, 2015 at 1:10 pm |
  17. chri§§y

    Remember @ bobcat...this is how TJI went out. So do you wanta know her pet name for him? Oh and her pet name for my brother in law is pretty funny

    January 7, 2015 at 1:16 pm |
    • bobcat2u

      Yes, I do want to know, but I'm almost afraid to ask.

      January 7, 2015 at 1:21 pm |
    • bobcat2u

      And you're right, TJI died a slow death just like this. I expect to see the "We will not be updating this site" notification any time now.

      January 7, 2015 at 1:24 pm |
  18. chri§§y

    Lmao yea im sure she will.

    January 7, 2015 at 1:17 pm |
  19. chri§§y

    Shes laughing like hell at you right now. Im at her house. Ok pimp dummy is c u m dumpster cuz hes a male hoe. And my brother in law is cherokee and polish so she calls him "running dummy"! Lmao

    January 7, 2015 at 1:27 pm |
    • banasy©

      Running Dummy? ROTFLMFAO!

      Oh, she's a pip!

      January 7, 2015 at 1:35 pm |
    • bobcat2u

      Omg, that's one of the funniest things I ever heard.

      January 7, 2015 at 1:38 pm |
  20. chri§§y

    And i showed her what you said and she said "w t f? Cant he speak english?" lmao.

    January 7, 2015 at 1:31 pm |
    • bobcat2u

      Yeah, I just try to curb my language when in the presence of ladies.

      January 7, 2015 at 1:41 pm |
  21. chri§§y

    And to top all of brother in law looovvvvees it! Is that nuts or what? Lol

    January 7, 2015 at 1:34 pm |
  22. chri§§y

    Aint she tho? Lol im warning you though...dont feed the animal! It will only get her going lmao!

    January 7, 2015 at 1:37 pm |
  23. chri§§y

    Lol ouch! She just smacked me!

    January 7, 2015 at 1:39 pm |
  24. chri§§y

    Yea shes sumthin alright! Cant bring the grandkids around her much tho. Lmao

    January 7, 2015 at 1:43 pm |
  25. bobcat2u

    Does she tell the grandkids to hold their tongue and say Big Red Fire Truck ? One of my favorites.

    January 7, 2015 at 1:52 pm |
  26. chri§§y

    OMG you HAVE met her! Lmao! Shes the one that taught meghan the "talk to the booty thing"! Lol

    January 7, 2015 at 2:05 pm |
    • bobcat2u

      That booty thing cracked me up.

      January 7, 2015 at 2:16 pm |
  27. chri§§y

    And dont forget the ever popular hold your tongue and say fudgecicle! Lol

    January 7, 2015 at 2:08 pm |
    • bobcat2u

      I forgot that one. I also like to do tongue twisters like,

      I split the sheet, the sheet I split. Upon the splitted sheet I sit.

      January 7, 2015 at 2:20 pm |
  28. chri§§y

    Lol now thats one ive never heard before!

    January 7, 2015 at 2:31 pm |
  29. bobcat2u

    Gotta go for now. Talk to ya'll later.

    January 7, 2015 at 2:36 pm |
  30. UFO chat

    Just so ya know, I don't even read your comments anymore Bob. Not that I think you would talk about me or anything.

    January 7, 2015 at 11:10 pm |
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