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. chri§§y¥¥¥¥

    I was talking about how he ACTS! I have no idea what he LOOKS like nor do i care!!!!

    January 13, 2015 at 5:55 pm |
  2. chri§§y¥¥¥¥

    Wow! Banasy im at the auto show and i just found my new vehicle! Lincoln MKX! Awesome sauce!!!!

    January 13, 2015 at 6:04 pm |
  3. chri§§y¥¥¥¥

    Lol and expensive! This time im going to consider the gas factor. And i may just go the leasing route and a smaller vehicle. Idk how much gas is in your neighborhood but its down to 1.73 a gal here, so it will be nice saving money!

    January 13, 2015 at 6:35 pm |
  4. Philip

    I'm still here if you two get tired of each other. he he

    January 13, 2015 at 6:49 pm |
  5. chri§§y¥¥¥¥

    Wow! Im sorry. In detroit it was 1.59 at two stations that i saw and i was thinkin "lucky b@st@rds" now i feel bad! But i heard in northern california its OVER $4 quite a bit.

    January 13, 2015 at 6:52 pm |
    • banasy©

      Gas prices vary wildly, Chrissy; in Chicago proper, it varies from 2.02 to 2.49 for regular unleaded.

      January 13, 2015 at 7:19 pm |
  6. Philip

    "Gina". Classic banasy. Reminds me of little girls saying "My giny tingles" at Christian youth music fests.

    January 13, 2015 at 6:52 pm |
    • banasy©

      Actually, what I said was 'gina. If that reminds you of little girls, ok.

      January 13, 2015 at 7:15 pm |
      • Old Driller

        Don't play stupid. Everyone know adults say va gina. Little girls say gina. Get your mind out of the gutter and back on to the sidewalk where a few of US still are. Thank you.

        January 13, 2015 at 7:18 pm |
      • banasy©

        Actually, my use of 'gina (pronounced with a long 'I' to indicate a slang term for vagina; I simply didn't employ the HTML necessary to get the word through.
        You said '"giny". Make up your mind.

        It was in reply to this:

        If Bobsnot posted these jokes you two old cows would be Lol. Or moo, rather. he he

        Said the most profoundly ignorant ass that was ever pumped out of an old woman's 'gina.

        You insults apply to neither Chrissy nor I; perhaps you should consult the Bible for inspiration.

        A little context is necessary, since you like to take things out of it; once again, do not dish it out if you cannot take it.

        He he doesn't excuse rudeness. It never will.

        January 13, 2015 at 7:35 pm |
  7. Philip

    The current average price for gas in Cali is $2.52 per gallon. San Franers are paying $2.76 avg. All across this land are mom&pop gas stations that gouge customers and are still charging outageous prices.
    The current dollar value of Gasoline on the open market is about 28 cents per gallon. The rest is all profit and taxes.

    January 13, 2015 at 6:55 pm |
  8. chri§§y¥¥¥¥

    Still....maybe i should just buy an RV huh? Lmao!

    January 13, 2015 at 6:56 pm |
    • Philip

      Some RV's get better mpg's than some sports cars and big manly pick-up trucks. 🙂

      January 13, 2015 at 7:13 pm |
    • banasy©

      Chrissy, given what I know about you, an RV sounds perfect...for reasons we both understand...

      January 13, 2015 at 7:36 pm |
  9. chri§§y¥¥¥¥

    Wasnt mom & pop stations that they showed. 4.59 a gal and it was 2 large truck stops in northern california!!!! I have no reason to lie about it!

    January 13, 2015 at 7:01 pm |
    • Philip

      I doubt a large truck stop would charge 4.50 when everyone else is charging 2.60. Not calling you a liar. But the average price in CA right now is about 2.66. But only really worth 28 cents per gallon. As I said, the rest is corporate profit and taxes.

      January 13, 2015 at 7:06 pm |
      • banasy©

        I doubt you saw what Chrissy saw, either; isn't that would you always claim?

        January 13, 2015 at 8:12 pm |
  10. Philip

    Back in my...younger days, milk was 75 cents per gallon and gasoline was 28. We had a milk box where a gallon of fresh milk magically appeared each morning. And a gas pump with a coffee can on top where you put your money or I.O.U. if a little short on cash that week. Of course pinball was only 5 cents. But that's a lot of aluminum beer cans picked up. Plus it was a wooden pinball machine. I had to stand on a wooden box to reach the flippers. he he

    January 13, 2015 at 7:04 pm |
  11. Philip

    And here's the skinny. A lot of you don't know that only about 5% of crude oil is made into gas and diesel for our cars and trucks. More than double that is used for making jet fuels. America's huge pharmaceutical industry is what keeps our prices high. (pharmacy products are almost all made out of crude oil, and we have almost as many pharmacies as gas stations)
    Obamacare cut's in half the amount of crude oil America's pharmaceutical industry consumes. And is why one day you will once again see super cheap gasoline. Especially after the FDA approves aborted fetus stem cells for making pharmacy products out of.
    Want the price of gas to go down? Abort your baby then.

    January 13, 2015 at 7:10 pm |
    • banasy©

      See my post below. Aborted fetuses cannot be used for stem cell research or in the application you as implying because those stem cells are deceased.

      January 13, 2015 at 8:27 pm |
  12. Old Driller

    Ya'll need to listen to Philip when talking about crude oil. He's an Old Driller, you know. A drilling consultant commanding $600 per day wages if you wanted him/me to oversee your venture.

    January 13, 2015 at 7:14 pm |
    • Old Driller expenses. Including whiskey for breakfast if I want.

      January 13, 2015 at 7:15 pm |
    • banasy©

      Oh, I take what you say into consideration, but I don't take it as gospel.

      When was the last time you consulted?

      January 13, 2015 at 8:05 pm |
  13. Old Driller

    Ya know what really ticks me off about you Americans? I've risked my life many times AND have been injured many times drilling holes in the ground so you freaking Rx drug addicts could have your pills. But you call me trash and praise men previously convicted of robbing a liquor store who is now overseas shooting people to protect your right to "free speech". Ya'll are stupid is all. I guess.

    January 13, 2015 at 7:22 pm |
    • banasy©

      The US has 316 million people.

      What percentage do you think are actually "addicted" long term to your petroleum-based medications?

      January 13, 2015 at 8:10 pm |
  14. Old Driller

    Missy! More coffee. I'm going to shred some blogs this evening. Haven't done it in awhile. Am going to the big 3 UFO blogs and make fun of people thinking genetically altered Jews are little green men from Mars. And then off to the religious blogs to make fun of people who don't even know how many books there are in the bible, yet actually having opinions on the subject.
    Oh. And will be here ALL night for your usual embarrassing moments as well.

    January 13, 2015 at 7:25 pm |
    • banasy©

      You've not embarrassed us yet; and I've seen you get regularly spanked on other blogs...your self-aggrandizing aside, the tendency to blurt insults when someone disagrees with you isn't "winning" at anything.

      January 13, 2015 at 8:25 pm |
  15. Philip

    I got RingCentral!!! All of my personal and business communications are now Cloud based. Omg! Am so excited. Am expecting to have not one single dropped business call this year. And for $160 per month! Am shopping for IP phones right now. I need 4 lines...a base unit and a wireless one. Hmmm. The cheapest wireless is $169 but found a base for $119. I can rent them for like 5$ per month though. Am thinking about doing that till I find what works. Not what works for me. WHAT WORKS. @banasy will understand that.

    January 13, 2015 at 7:31 pm |
    • banasy©

      "WHAT WORKS. @banasy will understand that."

      Explanation, please?

      January 13, 2015 at 8:30 pm |
  16. chri§§y¥¥¥¥

    Oh JOY!!! And according to you...we dont PLAY stupid anyway! Ttyl @ banasy!

    January 13, 2015 at 7:32 pm |
    • Philip

      We all play stupid. Don't be silly.

      January 13, 2015 at 7:33 pm |
      • Philip

        Heck. I don't know. Maybe women play silly to get warmed-up for playing stupid. I'm a man. How would I know? All I have are words based on what women say. And the grandmother of all women was a stupid biatch that was even easily deceived by a talking reptile. So there ya have it.

        January 13, 2015 at 7:35 pm |
      • banasy©

        If I took the words you, as a man, as representative of all men, I would be doing all men a disservice....I take each person as an individual.
        I am sorry you do not.

        January 13, 2015 at 8:01 pm |
  17. chri§§y¥¥¥¥

    Smart phones are $19 why not just go with those? Lol ok ttyl!

    January 13, 2015 at 7:36 pm |
    • Philip

      I need a console for my business, chrissy. Of course it will interface with my stupid roid "smart" phone.

      January 13, 2015 at 7:39 pm |
  18. Philip

    All of us r stupid. Humans are the only animals on earth that do not use 100% of their brain capacity before dying. (which disproves evolution theory if you think about it) According to Albert Einstein we only use a very very small % of our brain capacity before dying at a ripe old age.

    January 13, 2015 at 7:38 pm |
  19. Philip MC

    The Night Chicago Died. (not counting when their own dung backed-up into their drinking water system and forced them to torch Chicago for insurance fraud money because they could not afford a new water filtration system. "A cow did it" they said, and were believed by dumb-downed yous)

    Daddy was a cop
    On the east side of Chicago...

    January 13, 2015 at 7:45 pm |
    • Philip MC

      Lol. Am guessing my 2 avid listeners, chris and D, believed the official story that a cow did it. Omg. Dumb dumb dumbdedy dumb dumb. Same as 9/11.

      January 13, 2015 at 7:47 pm |
      • banasy©

        Are you really that retarded? You continuously underestimate me, and it is always to your detriment.

        Stop your asinine speculation on what I know. You're continuously shown to be wrong.

        January 13, 2015 at 8:34 pm |
  20. chri§§y¥¥¥¥

    You DID SAY 4 Iphones did you not? At $169?

    January 13, 2015 at 7:48 pm |
    • Old drilpher off to UFO

      No. I said one smart and zero i. And four lines. Is what I said. And Cloud coverage for all of my business coms.

      January 13, 2015 at 7:53 pm |
      • Old drilpher off to UFO

        I already got a stupid smart phone. Now that my biz in in the cloud I can interface it with my 4 other lines.

        January 13, 2015 at 7:54 pm |
    • Philip

      I have 5 telephone numbers, chrissy. And a customer base from hell.

      January 13, 2015 at 7:55 pm |
      • Philip

        I am not exaggerating. My phone never stops ringing during Spring and Summertime. And in the off-season when the fed allows it.

        January 13, 2015 at 7:56 pm |
      • Philip

        I am the world's greatest at what I do to make money to protect me and mine from yous. And any man that dare challenge me better pack his lunch. And I'm being serious. I am no Adam. I am Philip. And I will kick your ass.

        January 13, 2015 at 7:58 pm |
      • Philip

        I have never worked for a man in all my life, though I have been employed. I work as if each task is for God himself. And so profit circles around crooked individuals.

        January 13, 2015 at 8:00 pm |
      • banasy©

        So. What.

        You are not superior to anyone here; for all of your bragging, that is one thing that is abundantly clear.

        January 13, 2015 at 8:36 pm |
  21. News Flash!!!

    A cow has kicked over The World Trade Towers. And you believed it! Lmao

    January 13, 2015 at 7:49 pm |
  22. Old drilpher off to UFO

    google "ufo chat" and look for Grampa Roper. That would be me making fun of stupid people thinking genetically altered Jews are aliens in real life. ta ta 4 now. (burp)

    January 13, 2015 at 7:51 pm |
  23. chri§§y¥¥¥¥

    Okie dokie not risking gettin p i s s e d off again. Ttyl @ banasy!

    January 13, 2015 at 7:55 pm |
    • Philip

      ooohh. Risky. Moreso than a Ugandan young lady running through the dark woods filled with wild creatures to escape an angry horde of sodomizers? NOPE. So then where is this "risk" you speak of? Only in your mind, you must know by now.

      January 13, 2015 at 8:03 pm |
  24. Philip

    D and C speechless: Priceless. Good night gentlemen.

    January 13, 2015 at 8:04 pm |
    • banasy©

      I answer you; you ignore it. That is not "speechless". That is you ignoring it. Not exactly an uncommon occurrence.

      January 13, 2015 at 8:07 pm |
      • Philip

        what exactly did I ignore D?

        January 13, 2015 at 8:16 pm |
      • Philip

        awe. So you are saying that your hubby is a common man. That's sweet uvgina you.

        January 13, 2015 at 8:18 pm |
      • banasy©

        No, I didn't say that at all; what I said was "If I took the words you, as a man, as representative of all men, I would be doing all men a disservice….I take each person as an individual.
        I am sorry you do not."

        Are you still having problems comprehending what you read?

        January 13, 2015 at 8:22 pm |
      • Philip

        You said it was not uncommon for men to ignore women. And so you say your hubby is a common way around it.

        January 13, 2015 at 8:29 pm |
      • banasy©

        It is right there, Philip; what I said you was:

        "I answer you; you ignore it. That is not “speechless”. That is you ignoring it. Not exactly an uncommon occurrence."

        I said nothing near "You said it was not uncommon for men to ignore women. And so you say your hubby is a common man…no way around it.."

        As a matter of fact, it is unknown why you are bringing up my husband up for no discernable reason...This would be you, not comprehending the written word again.

        You rather suck at debating, don't you?

        January 13, 2015 at 8:43 pm |
  25. banasy©

    I will say this one last time.

    Aborted fetuses are dead.

    Therefore, stem cells cannot be harvested from them, because they are dead.

    Stem cell research is done using live stem cells. As in alive.
    Dead stem cells are useless for the application you're implying.

    Stop spreading misinformation, and educate yourself on the stem-cell debate, Philip.

    January 13, 2015 at 8:19 pm |
    • Philip

      They are alive when they are aborted. And then killed. Their stem cells are fresh and harvestable you dumb woman.

      January 13, 2015 at 8:22 pm |
      • Philip

        Over 100 million dead babies have been supplying the pharamaceutical industry for years, with stem cells to experiment with in order to make for you drugged Americans your next generation of prescription drugs that will replace crude oil and so cause the price of gasoline to plummet. Mark my word.

        January 13, 2015 at 8:25 pm |
      • Philip

        ...and not counting little children pre-programmed by Playstation/Xbox to fly flying saucers.

        January 13, 2015 at 8:28 pm |
      • banasy©

        They are dead once they are aborted. The stem cells are, too.

        Dead stem cells cannot be harvested.

        The cells are dead.

        I am not a "drugged American."
        I would appreciate it if you can refrain from your tedious generalizations when you answer me.

        January 13, 2015 at 8:48 pm |
      • banasy©

        And they are aborted in the uterus, you myopic moron. Unless you're positing that they are going to be harvested in utero, (which is flat out stupid) your stupid theory is untenable because after the aborted fetus leaves the body, either by vacuum or D&C, THE FETUS IS ALREADY DEAD, AS ARE THE STEM CELLS!

        Get some education. You are flat out WRONG on this.

        January 13, 2015 at 9:00 pm |
  26. Philip

    One IT phone base, and one wireless. (not counting my personal "smart" phone) % lines altogether, chrissy. Got it?

    January 13, 2015 at 8:20 pm |
  27. chri§§y¥¥¥¥

    Your dumb as cow comment! Damn! You ARE an idiot when it comes to conversation! I dont doubt for a second that you work for yourself....because 15 mins into my would be canned! Your ppl skills S U C K!

    January 13, 2015 at 8:23 pm |
  28. Philip

    Stfu Chrisy. I have worked many years for major corporations, you dumb cow. he he

    January 13, 2015 at 8:26 pm |
    • banasy©

      "I have never worked for a man in all my life, though I have been employed. I work as if each task is for God himself. And so profit circles around crooked individuals."

      Want to make up your mind, here? Because corporations are comprised

      January 13, 2015 at 8:51 pm |
  29. chri§§y¥¥¥¥

    And heres my FINAL Get a Clue to you @ philip....when posts appear in just a very few mins, like 3...I DONT SEE THEM WHEN IM POSTING!!! I have to refresh before i see them all. And very soon i wont be able to see ANY new ones whether i refresh or not, because of the length of this thread.

    January 13, 2015 at 8:31 pm |
  30. Philip

    Ooh ya'll should see this marbly steak I am cooking. pure Colorado beef with not one speck of Wal-Mart steroids or hormones. Yummy yummy yummy.

    January 13, 2015 at 8:33 pm |
    • banasy©

      Weren't you on here not too long ago saying that red meat is the leading cause for 60lb colons?

      January 13, 2015 at 8:54 pm |
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