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. Fleas like Adam

    Dear Mr. Dog catcher. Please catch them before they wake up. And bring a big plastic bag. There's a lot of dog poop that needs cleaned up. Amen.

    January 14, 2015 at 8:23 am |
    • banasy©

      Why are you starting off on the wrong paw, Philip?
      What is the matter?
      Didn't like the answers you got from your...episode yesterday?

      January 14, 2015 at 10:24 am |
  2. chri§§y¥¥¥¥

    Oh shut up! Go back from where you came!

    January 14, 2015 at 10:24 am |
  3. chri§§y¥¥¥¥

    Lmao @ banasy....GMTA! And now hes tryin to be the do uche bag aint that cute?

    January 14, 2015 at 10:28 am |

    All right you two. Let's not make this difficult. Get in the back of the van.

    January 14, 2015 at 10:29 am |
    • banasy©

      "Time to look for children. See my 'safe' sticker in the window?"

      January 14, 2015 at 11:33 am |
  5. As The World Turns

    And what's wrong with episodes, b. Or copy/pasting funny jokes. What's wrong with that. Or did you already get in the back of the van peacefully.

    January 14, 2015 at 10:32 am |
    • banasy©

      You cannot take it when you're wrong, so you come back at post "insults" that you apparently think will make the things you were wrong about somehow right, Philip.

      January 14, 2015 at 10:50 am |

    Oh. Don't worry about those three pit bull doggies back there. They won't ummm, bite you or anything.

    January 14, 2015 at 10:33 am |

      That little one in the corner lost his humpy toy so watch out for him. he he

      January 14, 2015 at 10:37 am |
    • banasy©

      Philip, att least you know Pitbulls are terriers, (after I told you, and your sychophant, of course – bet you miss her) and not descended from bulldogs, as you once posited; probably because the word "bull" is in it.

      Which describes 9/10ths of your posts here, I might add.

      January 14, 2015 at 10:46 am |
      • Philip

        They are descended from Bull Mastiffs dummy. And inbred to produce dogs good at killing rats. They are called "pit bulls" because men used to throw them in pits filled with hundreds of rats and gamble on who would win. The rats or the one dog. The world champion rat killer pit bull then sired all the other bull dogs. English bulldog, French bulldog, various and sundry terriers. All from the same sire. His name was Billy. I forget how many hundred rats he killed during his career.
        My family used to raise English bull dogs. We sold one pick of the litter to the University of Georgia who raided "Bo" to be their football team mascot.

        January 14, 2015 at 10:55 am |
      • Philip

        *raised Bo to be their mascot, rather.

        January 14, 2015 at 10:56 am |
      • banasy©

        Putbulls are Terriers, you stupid, stupid man. They're descended from a common ancestor, the same as Mastiffs.

        Get some education.

        January 14, 2015 at 10:59 am |

    Shut up and get in the van. Sheesh.

    January 14, 2015 at 10:36 am |
    • banasy©

      Is this your white van without windows, Philip? Going to try and show some kids your "puppies"?

      January 14, 2015 at 10:53 am |
  8. chri§§y¥¥¥¥

    You are an IDIOT! Go play somewhere else....youre boring!

    January 14, 2015 at 10:40 am |
    • Philip

      Oh! That was very interesting.

      January 14, 2015 at 10:43 am |

    We're going to have to take you two and any other dogs you come in contact with down to the State Hospital for a de-lousing. So stop scratching.

    January 14, 2015 at 10:42 am |
    • banasy©

      That would be you that has the problem with personal hygiene, Philip. Under the guise that you stink because you "work hard."

      January 14, 2015 at 10:55 am |
      • Philip

        I eat foods in the proper combinations and at the correct times of day. And so my sweat does not stink. I never even use underarm deodorant I smell so good. Really. Stinky sweat comes from eating too much food, eating foods in bad combinations, eating at improper times, and using pharmacy products that interfere with proper digestion of foods.

        January 14, 2015 at 11:00 am |
      • banasy©

        The staff at the Broadmoor beg to differ.

        January 14, 2015 at 11:05 am |
  10. chri§§y¥¥¥¥

    Whatsa mattah? Udder kids dont wanna play witcha either? Lol aww too bad po lil boy! Shoulda not been sucha azz huh? Lmao!

    January 14, 2015 at 10:44 am |
    • Philip

      I saved my steak bone for you c. So you could tie it around your neck and maybe your own dog will play with you. If that doesn't work we'll try 2 steak bones and a puppy duct taped to your head.

      January 14, 2015 at 10:46 am |
  11. Philip

    Well. Who brought Adam the flea here if not you two?

    January 14, 2015 at 10:44 am |
    • banasy©

      You're Adam the Flea, Philip, so suppose you tell us why you chose to start the day off as him.

      January 14, 2015 at 10:51 am |
  12. chri§§y¥¥¥¥

    Fock off @ not the one that has a problem making, AND keeping friends! Lookin in that mirror too long today! Lol

    January 14, 2015 at 10:53 am |
    • Philip

      Jesus was only able to make about 200 friends during the 3 1/2 years of his ministry. Stupid sheep have 300 friends on average. So having a lot of friends says very little about an individual.

      January 14, 2015 at 11:02 am |
      • banasy©

        You're not Jesus, and that wasn't what was brought up. Focus, Philip.

        January 14, 2015 at 11:06 am |
      • Philip

        Friends was the topic. I used the experience of Jesus to illustrate that having a lot of friends says hardly anything about a person. Popuklarity contests do not determine who the winners are in real life. Only in the lives of actors. People who act differently than who they really are, and men acting like political leaders who are really just puppets.

        January 14, 2015 at 11:10 am |
      • banasy©

        What Scripture is "I saved my steak bone for you c. So you could tie it around your neck and maybe your own dog will play with you. If that doesn’t work we’ll try 2 steak bones and a puppy duct taped to your head." from?

        Is that Jesus-approved? Stop hiding behind His robes and take the responsibility for your own ugly words.

        January 14, 2015 at 11:19 am |
  13. Philip

    I'm only going to ask you this one more time. And then things are going to get ugly. If it wasn't one of you two that brought Adam here, who was it.

    January 14, 2015 at 10:57 am |
    • banasy©

      If you would ever be bothered to actually comprehend what I write, you'd know the answer, but I will answer it one more time because I know you have trouble following:

      Adam predates you, I, and Chrissy on these blogs. As in, all of CNN blogs. Not just TJI and GPS.

      You are not going to learn what I know; you've lost the privilege of my giving you any information when you told me you wanted to slap my nose with a newspaper like a disobedient puppy because I wasn't gullible enough to believe your nonsense.

      January 14, 2015 at 11:14 am |
  14. chri§§y¥¥¥¥

    Got ugly as SOON as you arrived adam wannabe philip!

    January 14, 2015 at 11:06 am |
    • Philip

      Thanks again for bringing Adam here, chrissy. Wtg.

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

        She didn't, you reading-challenged moron.

        January 14, 2015 at 11:22 am |
  15. chri§§y¥¥¥¥

    Lol yea keep telling yourself that. If it didnt bother you ya wouldnt have brought it up and transferred it to me!

    January 14, 2015 at 11:11 am |
  16. Philip

    And STOP trying to tell me what to do, Donna. And stop thinking you have the authority to judge men like me.

    January 14, 2015 at 11:12 am |
    • banasy©

      I don't tell you what to do; I point out your hypocrisy. Can't take it? Stop thinking you're witty enough to dish it out.

      January 14, 2015 at 11:21 am |
      • Philip

        You are all the time judging my person based on words you read here. Pretty flimsy evidence in any courtroom except the empty one between your ears. You believe official versions and when I state what really happened you flip your wig, your panties bunch-up into a wad, and the judging begins.

        January 14, 2015 at 1:26 pm |
      • banasy©

        I believe that you are judging me right now; that is hypocrisy.

        I've never "flipped my wig"; I post rebuttals, and you start insulting. I would say that is your failing, and not mine.

        Of you cannot take take the same treatment you give out, don't give it out. Simple.

        January 14, 2015 at 1:37 pm |
  17. chri§§y¥¥¥¥

    Lmao fockin retard! Have fun talkin to yourself IDIOT!

    January 14, 2015 at 11:16 am |
  18. Philip

    After awhile crocoldile. bbl

    January 14, 2015 at 11:16 am |
  19. Philip

    Btw. Why did Catholics have to make it to where bad people go to "hell" and get burned alive forever? Why couldn't they just have made it getting electrocuted for a few hundred years or maybe waterboarded with bamboo shoots stuck under fingernails?

    January 14, 2015 at 11:28 am |
    • banasy©

      Well, gee, ask for an audience with the Pope and find out; after all these years, you're starting to finally figure out that religion is divisive?


      January 14, 2015 at 11:36 am |
      • Philip

        What are you talking about now. I've been blowing the whistle on Jews, Christians, Muslims, etc etc etc as being the most murderous people in all of history. And that prophecy dictates today's powerful governments will turn on organized religions and outlaw them. And that there will be one State religion that you either bow down to are are executed. Not one who refuses to bow will lose his or her life though, is the promise. When they turn on lovers of truth that is when they "touch the eye of God" and really make Him angry and so He has His son execute every single lover of the lie. So says The Word.

        January 14, 2015 at 1:03 pm |
      • banasy©

        I gave you an answer to a question that was purely meant as a non-sequiter.
        The answer was given in the sane spirit.

        "Blowing the whistle" means nothing in the context you've given it; your interpretation is as subjective as anyone else's.

        You are not a religious scholar. It's silly to pretend otherwise.

        January 14, 2015 at 1:22 pm |
      • Philip

        By the time I was 9 years old I had figured out about todays organized religions being filled with idiots and led by liars. I was able to identify my own parents as being hedonists, not Christians and so was mistreated. They persecuted me. They will persecute you as well, so says The Word. And by the time I was 15 was man enough to leave my ugly dysfunctional family and strike-out on my own with $150 in my little pocket.

        January 14, 2015 at 1:30 pm |
      • banasy©

        That is nice, Philip; I have read this from you before, and I still do not care.

        Sorry for your abjectly horrible childhood, but that still does not give you special privileges to be a jerk to people who not swallow everything you say because you said it.

        January 14, 2015 at 1:44 pm |
  20. Philip

    The bible interprets itself. Men's interpretations are ALL wrong.

    January 14, 2015 at 1:30 pm |
    • banasy©

      This, of course, includes yours.

      January 14, 2015 at 1:45 pm |
      • Fleas like Adam

        I don't have interpretations of God's words. I have translations of them.
        From studying the Bible as little boy I was able to identify leaders of churches as willful liars about God. Misleading people by saying their own words to them rather than the words of God. Teaching people doctrine of men rather than simple truths Jesus taught to even small children. And was criticized by Jew leaders for doing so.
        Very very few will survive God's righteous indignation against all of mankind, said Jesus Christ himself. In plain words that even kids could know.

        January 14, 2015 at 1:51 pm |
      • banasy©

        And everyone else has the same translations, and have come up with their own conclusions as what they mean.

        And....? You're being a pendant right now. You've said nothing other people haven't.

        January 14, 2015 at 2:04 pm |
  21. Philip

    The World Empire of False Religion was established many centuries ago, and is today divided up into literally thousands of different organized religions. ALL of them being led by liars.

    January 14, 2015 at 1:32 pm |
    • banasy©

      I believe I said succinctly: religion is divisive.

      Are you disputing that? It would seem as though you agree.

      January 14, 2015 at 1:47 pm |
  22. Philip

    *Organized* religion I said. Not "religion" as you twist my words as your priest taught to you as he twisted God's words.
    Religion simply means Form of worship. Everyone worships someone or something. From worshipers of Allah to worshippers
    of money.
    Organized religions will be combined into on giant world wide State religion. Almost every single person on earth will happily join it.

    January 14, 2015 at 1:58 pm |
    • banasy©

      Are you talking to me? Because it looks like another diary entry.

      January 14, 2015 at 2:05 pm |
  23. Philip

    For example, Jesus only fed people who listened to him for a very long time. Today's religious representatives of Christ feed drug addicts and lazy people who curse God daily. Look after widows and orphans, says The Word. Not lazy men and drug addicts.

    January 14, 2015 at 2:07 pm |
  24. Philip

    I'm talking to anyone that has eyes to read with if you must know.

    January 14, 2015 at 2:07 pm |
    • banasy© were talking to me when you said I twisted your words? Because I said "religion is divisive.", not you; I would like you to explain how I twisted you words when you didn't say them in the first place.

      Did your priest teach you to be disingenuous?

      January 14, 2015 at 2:13 pm |
      • Philip

        The topic I started was ORGANIZED RELIGIONS being outlawed. Then you started talking about religion for some reason.

        January 14, 2015 at 2:16 pm |
      • banasy©

        This is how you started that thread, and my initial answer. Notice the words "organized religion" doesn't appear in your OP.

        Btw. Why did Catholics have to make it to where bad people go to “hell” and get burned alive forever? Why couldn’t they just have made it getting electrocuted for a few hundred years or maybe waterboarded with bamboo shoots stuck under fingernails?

        banasy© says:
        January 14, 2015 at 11:36 am
        Well, gee, ask for an audience with the Pope and find out; after all these years, you’re starting to finally figure out that religion is divisive?

        January 14, 2015 at 2:21 pm |
  25. Philip

    What other believer in Christ is saying ALL organized religions are being led by fat men on meds? Who else is saying ALL of them are being misled. No leader of any church, for I said ALL churches are being misled. And will be gobbled-up by powerful governments and formed into one giant State religion led by none other than an individual Jesus identified as Satan the Devil. The great deceiver of all of mankind.

    January 14, 2015 at 2:13 pm |
    • Philip

      You said "You've said nothing other people haven't.". What other person has said what I said above. NOBODY you know. That's for sure.

      January 14, 2015 at 2:14 pm |
      • banasy©

        Do you know how to read a thread?

        Go back and read that one.

        You will notice I wasn't talking about your last few posts positing that every pastor everywhere was on drugs.


        You can do it.

        January 14, 2015 at 2:19 pm |
  26. Philip

    The words and prophecies of Jesus need no interpreting. He spoke plainly using words even children could understand. He taught simple truths where Jew and Pagan leaders taught complicated lies. Anyone saying "that's your interpretation of Jesus's words" is stupid and has obviously been dumbed-down by pagan Rx drugs over many years of use.

    January 14, 2015 at 2:26 pm |
    • banasy©

      How odd – I have never seen anyone post "“that’s your interpretation of Jesus’s words”. Can you show me where anyone has?


      January 14, 2015 at 2:32 pm |
  27. chri§§y¥¥¥¥ is YOUR case...dumbed down by BOOZE!

    January 14, 2015 at 2:34 pm |
    • Philip

      Most people are killed by sober Christian soldiers, not old men who like to sip some whiskey at home after a long hard day at work with the sweat of his brow, chrissy. Get a clue.

      January 14, 2015 at 2:43 pm |
      • banasy©

        Alcohol is a drug. Period.

        If you want to keep it Biblical, you need to stick with wine.

        Otherwise, you're being a hypocrite.

        January 14, 2015 at 2:47 pm |
  28. Philip

    Virtually everyone in the world are practicing the use of pagan Rx drugs, not just religious leaders. From little girls addicted to Prozac to old men eating Advil like candy, Satan is misleading mankind via Druggery. Virtually everyone have been fooled by The Devil. And easily fooled if practicing the use of pagan Rx drugs for many years.

    January 14, 2015 at 2:42 pm |
    • banasy©

      Where do you get your alcohol blessed at? Because there is a reason it is sometimes called "Devil's Brew."

      January 14, 2015 at 2:56 pm |
  29. Philip

    Too much nit picking and not enough discussion about important matters here today. ta ta for now.

    January 14, 2015 at 2:46 pm |
    • banasy©

      Translation: you are not pleased with the answers your vanity writing are eliciting.

      January 14, 2015 at 2:54 pm |
  30. Kenny Rogers

    Why dont you two take this offline. It is tiring for other bloggers to see this every day.

    January 14, 2015 at 2:46 pm |
    • banasy©

      We feel precisely the sane way with your work on the first blog.

      January 14, 2015 at 2:50 pm |
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