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¥¥¥¥

    As tiring as YOUR lists??? Lmao give it rest !

    January 14, 2015 at 2:50 pm |
  2. chri§§y¥¥¥¥

    @ could do the same with a glass of iced tea!

    January 14, 2015 at 2:53 pm |
  3. Kenny Rogers

    Good they shut up for awhile.

    January 14, 2015 at 3:13 pm |
    • banasy©

      I know you cannot stand it when actual individual people, and not the characters in some fractured, diseased troll mind, talk to each other.

      Too bad. Don't read it.

      January 14, 2015 at 3:16 pm |
  4. chri§§y¥¥¥¥

    Lol thats only if you add cream and sugar. Scroll up...he mentioned coffee earlier.

    January 14, 2015 at 3:15 pm |
    • banasy©

      He mentioned his coffeepot broke. Caffeine is still an addictive substance. Pagan druggery, I tell you; PAGAN DRUGGERY!!

      January 14, 2015 at 3:19 pm |
  5. chri§§y¥¥¥¥

    Fock off do u che bag!

    January 14, 2015 at 3:18 pm |
  6. chri§§y¥¥¥¥

    I DONT CARE lmao! Give me caffeine or give me death!!!

    January 14, 2015 at 3:25 pm |
  7. Kenny Rogers

    Banasy and Chrissy at one time I likedyou. I am not the list maker who goes on about India. @banasy, my name is not Adam.

    January 14, 2015 at 4:21 pm |
    • banasy©

      Why do you have another icon?
      How very odd.

      Oh, and ps: I couldn't care less whether you like me or not.

      January 14, 2015 at 4:25 pm |
  8. chri§§y¥¥¥¥

    Yea he says that every time!

    January 14, 2015 at 4:44 pm |
    • banasy©

      I don't understand why he thinks that matters, Chrissy.

      Who cares.

      January 14, 2015 at 5:03 pm |
  9. chri§§y¥¥¥¥

    I dont understand him period. And he had a different icon from his earlier post?

    January 14, 2015 at 5:08 pm |
  10. chri§§y¥¥¥¥

    Awesome! They just arrested a terrorist in Cleveland Ohio who had been tweeting about a planned attack on the WH! Theyre getting closer to YOU @ Adam!!!!

    January 14, 2015 at 5:36 pm |
  11. Philip

    Pharmakia, banned among Christians in God's word, is the PRACTICE of giving or taking mind altering drugs. Not drinking coffee. The word literally means Druggery.

    January 14, 2015 at 11:19 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      I would like to know the Chapter and Verse where The Word says this.
      I would discuss this with the minister at my church.

      January 15, 2015 at 12:20 am |
      • Hellgod

        Simply Google the word Pharmakia. You will have no problem finding the several verses listing it as a Work of the flesh, and making it abundantly clear that Rx Pharmakia is not for Christians.
        Rx is the sign of the ancient pagan god of Medicine. Not a sign from God. From Satan the Devil the Deceiver of mankind. Drugs them and easily fools them, we humans whom he is jealous of.

        January 15, 2015 at 12:30 am |
      • Dalahäst

        I understand.

        You don't have a Ch/V.
        Is it not in The Bible then?
        Is this not God's Word?
        I understand that the sins of the flesh are Satanic. Alcohol is a sin of the flesh. Drugs are sins of the flesh.

        I strive to be a better man.

        Sometimes I fail, but I will do better.

        January 15, 2015 at 12:45 am |
      • Philip

        No. You are just too lazy to find scriptures that deal with Pharmakia. You want me to find them for you. Like a child you are. Pretending you don't know how to Google keywords you don't know the meaning of.

        January 15, 2015 at 9:28 am |
      • Philip

        Druggery, not "coffee drinking" is listed as a Work of the flesh. Did your minister never teach you what those works are, and contrast them with the fruitages of the spirit? Guess not.

        January 15, 2015 at 9:31 am |
  12. Hellgod

    You drank a lot of coffee. Burn in hellfire torment forever plus free fork stabbings. If you were an Rx drug addict or a doctor pushing dope for profit, welcome aboard! Grab a fork!

    January 15, 2015 at 12:24 am |
    • Dalahäst

      Caffeine is a drug.
      Caffeine is a stimulant of the Central Nervous System.
      If drugs are are Satanic, and caffeine is a drug, this makes coffee Satanic, right?

      I have much to tell my minister. Our Prayer meetings serves coffee.

      January 15, 2015 at 12:57 am |
  13. Philip

    Half past bedtime here. Zzzzz

    January 15, 2015 at 12:34 am |
  14. chri§§y¥¥¥¥

    Good. Gotta love it when the lectures are short and sweet. Makes it easier to dismiss them lol.
    Good Night!

    January 15, 2015 at 12:48 am |
  15. Philip

    *mind altering drugs that cause brain damage. Not coffee. Sheesh ladies. How many hundred pounds of mind altering pharmacy products have you all used over the years?

    January 15, 2015 at 9:25 am |
    • banasy©

      You are aware that alcohol causes brain damage also, are you not? Sheesh, Philip.

      How many gallons of mind-altering drinks have you consumed over the years?

      January 15, 2015 at 10:44 am |
  16. Philip

    Using alcohol or drugs is NOT listed as works of the flesh. Using so many drugs that you become a drug addict and drinking so much alcohol that you become a drunkard are.
    How silly you compare coffee drinkers with drug addicts and drunkards. Childish, really.

    January 15, 2015 at 9:36 am |
  17. Philip

    It's funny how the drug addicts and drunkards pick on us coffee drinkers. Hilarious how they try to defend their use of mind altering doctor drugs.

    January 15, 2015 at 9:38 am |
  18. chri§§y¥¥¥¥

    Oh thats just precious! And definitely HYPOCRITICAL! Enjoy!

    January 15, 2015 at 9:56 am |
    • banasy©

      Right, Chrissy?
      I'm brewing a pot of coffee chock full of the drug caffeine. I am, of course, cognizant that caffeine is classified as a drug, but I didn't purchase it at a pharmacy; would it still be considered a pharmacuetical product?

      A drug is a drug is a drug.
      I think most everyone knows that alcohol is a mind-altering drug, but of course, if it's a person's particular drug of choice, it's hilarious how they try to defend their use of mind altering drugs.

      January 15, 2015 at 10:29 am |
  19. Old Hag Lady

    Evabuddy know drinking a gallon of coffee is as bad as drinking a gallon of whiskey or downing a bottle of Xanax. Evabuddy esept for that stupid Philip.

    January 15, 2015 at 10:25 am |
    • Old Hag Lady

      *per day

      January 15, 2015 at 10:31 am |
    • banasy©

      What an odd choice of username you have chosen today, Philip.

      Who on earth has ever written that coffee equals Xanax? Strange. It appears as only you made that equation...

      January 15, 2015 at 10:32 am |

    I sweeten my coffee with Xanax and Advil.

    January 15, 2015 at 10:32 am |
    • banasy©

      Another strange name you have chosen to represent yourself, Philip: you are admitting to sweetening your coffee with Xanax and Advil?


      Most people use sugar if they need their coffee sweetened.

      January 15, 2015 at 10:41 am |
      • The Bible

        No. I'm making fun of 2 old ladies that think drinking a gallon of coffee per day is the same as drinking a gallon of booze per day. You are obviously both diluted by pharmacy products.

        January 15, 2015 at 10:52 am |
      • banasy©

        Why? When have I or Chrissy ever said that? We didn't. You're the one that put that particular stupidity together.

        You are obviously reading impaired. Drinking Irish coffee?
        You are obviously diluted by something that makes you hallucinate something that was never said.

        My goodness, you're dense.

        January 15, 2015 at 11:05 am |
      • banasy©

        And if you are talking about the posts above, we were clearly mocking the use of your ridiculous phrase "pagan druggery."

        But you've never been able to comprehensively read a thread, anyhow.

        January 15, 2015 at 11:07 am |
  21. The Bible

    The bible does not ban the use of drugs or coffee or booze. It bans the PRACTICE of using them to the point where brain damage ensues. It is the PRACTICE of using booze or drugs to the point of becoming a drunkard or a drug addict that is banned. Pharmakia druggery is listed right along with fornication as a work of the flesh. If you are addicted to mind altering pharmaceuticals, you are in violation of God's word bigtime. If you are a drunkard, ditto. If you sleep with someone you are not married to, ditto. There is nothing banning the practice of drinking coffee in the bible.
    You old ladies have already experienced brain damage caused by years of consuming pharmacy products. And is why you are accusing the use of drugs with the PRACTICE of using drugs. You simply have too amny dead brain cells.
    Interestingly, many pharmacy product labels warn of PERMANENT brain damage and suicides. I have yet to see a coffee can label warning of brain damage or suicidal ideations.

    January 15, 2015 at 10:38 am |
    • The Bible

      *confusing the use of drugs with the PRACTICE of using drugs. Dummed-down by Rx pharmacy products for many years. Now stupid just like the average American is now.

      January 15, 2015 at 10:48 am |
    • banasy©


      Your main error is that you confuse word meanings and replace them with your own; alcohol is is a mind-altering drug, and because you choose to imbibe in it doesn't make it any less so. And if you get drunk from it, yours mind has been altered, and if you've done it for years, your brain is damaged. Period.

      Further, your tendency to do this, "you old ladies have already experienced brain damage caused by years of consuming pharmacy products. And is why you are accusing the use of drugs with the PRACTICE of using drugs. You simply have too amny dead brain cells." negates your entire message, as it is an argument from ignorance.

      January 15, 2015 at 10:59 am |
  22. The Bible

    The PRACTICE of giving or taking MIND ALTERING PHARMACY DRUGS is BANNED in God's word and is fact the equal of cheating on your spouse. Both are listed as works of the flesh.

    January 15, 2015 at 10:54 am |
    • banasy©

      Ok; I get that.
      Now, how do you TAKE your mind-altering alcohol?

      January 15, 2015 at 11:25 am |
  23. Mabel

    I've been using Xanax and Advil for yeers. So I'm with Chissy and Banasy. It's the same as drinking coffee every days.

    January 15, 2015 at 10:59 am |
    • banasy©

      Oh, Philip, lying again. Nobody has ever said that; your justifications for attributing your own thoughts onto others is rather...well...mental.

      I'd like to remind you that your mobile icon is easily seen, too.

      January 15, 2015 at 11:02 am |
      • The Bible

        Nobody? You just did above! YOU equated being a drug addict with being an avid coffee drinker you old hag,m
        All you do is come along and confuse topics people start. Am DONE with you. You simply do NOT want to know the truth about pharmakia druggery, and no amount of arguing is going to change your mind. For you have been using pharmacy products for decades. And it shows. Now, good day! woman. Leave me alone! Thank you.

        January 15, 2015 at 11:05 am |
      • banasy©

        That was clearly mocking your use of "pagan druggery", and if you took that seriously, you're stupid.

        I shall have to remember to clearly state sarcasm, since it appears you're too dumb to note it on your own.

        How is it that you take that as gospel, when this stupid statement, refuted to you many times, is still repeated?
        "For you have been using pharmacy products for decades."

        Argument from ignorance. Look it up.

        You're posts are confusing on their own; pointing out your errors in conaistency is confusing. It's clarification you refuse to provide.

        January 15, 2015 at 11:15 am |
  24. Philip

    Stop trying to place the focus of this thread on my person, Donna. The topic is Druggery, not Philip. And not hot coffee as you had hoped for. Now shut up and tell us what you know of Pharmakia Druggery rather than what you think you know about me. Thank you.

    January 15, 2015 at 11:02 am |
    • banasy©

      Oh, I'm not doing that; but, do remember, Philip, that once again you start insulting and then whine about it later.

      As always.

      And alcohol is a drug, whether you choose to admit it or not.

      January 15, 2015 at 11:17 am |
  25. Philip

    Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

    20 Idolatry, druggery, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

    21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

    January 15, 2015 at 11:07 am |

      Oh. I thought my catholic bible listed coffee. Sorry. My bad.

      January 15, 2015 at 11:09 am |
      • banasy©

        Oh, lying again. What a shock.

        Stop trying to place the focus of this thread on my person, Donna.

        Lmao; hypocrite.

        January 15, 2015 at 11:19 am |
      • Philip


        January 15, 2015 at 11:21 am |
      • banasy©

        What am I lying about?

        I guess this is how you really think, then, as you are "Oh. I thought my catholic bible listed coffee. Sorry. My bad."

        January 15, 2015 at 11:29 am |
    • banasy©

      What version are you using?

      January 15, 2015 at 11:19 am |
      • Philip

        Koine Greek language version. The NT was written in koine Greek which was the common man's language. Only upper crust echelon used classical Greek which is almost as confusing as the English language is.

        January 15, 2015 at 11:24 am |


    January 15, 2015 at 11:11 am |
    • banasy©

      Do you know what a housewife even is?

      I didn't think so.

      Hint: I'm posting from work.
      Is that a large enough hint for you? You don't seem to comprehend what you read.

      January 15, 2015 at 11:23 am |
  27. Philip

    Modern English bible translators mistranslate the original koine Greek word to mean Witchcraft. It means Druggery, the practice of giving someone mind altering drugs in order to make them stupid. (Even if that someone is yourself)
    Anyway. This is pointless. You simply no longer have the capacity to see truth. And to the point you doubt truth even exists.
    Hagd @housewife.

    January 15, 2015 at 11:29 am |
    • banasy©

      Yes, I have read some versions translated it differently. Sorcery was sometimes used; because at the time, sorcerers were the only ones who had access to the drugs.

      I don't use mind altering drugs, except the occasional beer or dirty martini.
      I hope you will grasp that simple truth, and stop lying about me.

      I am employed. I am not a housewife. Look up that term before you dismiss me, and thousands of women who have given up careers to lovingly raise a family before returning to the work force.

      Have a wonderful day, and if you'd like to discuss things without immediately insulting me, I'd be more than happy to.

      January 15, 2015 at 11:43 am |
      • Public Works

        Get back to work, Donna. And quit denying that you are an average American that frequently visits pharmacies. Am going to dock you 2 hours pay for blogging on company time. That's almost $17 dollars that will be missing on your next check.

        January 15, 2015 at 11:45 am |
      • banasy©

        I visit the pharmacy to pick up my prescription for the one drug I have to take to live.

        We, meaning you, I, and Leeintulsa discussed this years ago. He was unable to afford his life-saving blood clot medication, preferring to forego that to provide food for his family; the outcome was that the man died of a bloot clot to his heart.
        (Lee and I were very good friends. We talked via text and email constantly, so save it.)

        I am not willing to give up my life; I should hope you would not wish that for me, either.

        January 15, 2015 at 11:57 am |
  28. Dr. Drugmoney MD

    Beware of booze and coffee. Enjoy using pharmacy products instead. They make you feel good and make me millions of dollars.

    January 15, 2015 at 11:32 am |
  29. Public Works

    @banasy. So you are self-employed? And can chat during work hours if you choose? Or are you an employee on the clock and so pilfering.

    January 15, 2015 at 11:43 am |
    • banasy©

      Nope, I'm not pilfering, as my employers fully know what I'm doing.

      Nice try, though. Stellar.

      January 15, 2015 at 11:51 am |
      • Public Works

        So you work at a private library, not a public one. Got it. Because if you worked at a public library your employer would be the US taxpayer.

        January 15, 2015 at 11:55 am |
      • banasy©

        I will repeat this, so you understand it: my employers know what they're employees are doing. Much of our work is online.

        Our library is not run by any government enti.ty, no; it is funded primarily through donations and we have a sitting board.

        It is open to the public, and is county-wide, but it is not run by the county; patrons must be a county resident, and live in a district where there is no actual government-funded library.
        Confusing, I know.

        So, I guess one can term that private, as it is not US taxpayer-funded.

        January 15, 2015 at 12:12 pm |
      • Public Works

        Ok. You work at a private library with private employers who oddly allow employees to play online during work hours. Got it.

        January 15, 2015 at 12:18 pm |
      • banasy©

        They allow that, yes. There is nothing wrong with that, as long as my duties are fulfilled.
        And, guess what?
        You can be as derisive as you want, but it basically is no different than what you do; you're the boss that plays online, and I have bosses that not only do the same, but allow their employees to do so.

        Please look on the mirror and understand what a hypocrite looks like. It is you, and your self-righteous bullshit is tedious.

        January 15, 2015 at 12:26 pm |
  30. Public Works

    What is the name of the private library you work at, banasy?

    January 15, 2015 at 12:01 pm |
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