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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  1. Public Works

    Pharmacy products include cold and flu "remedies", Tylenol, Advil, etc. Not just heart pills.

    January 15, 2015 at 12:07 pm |
    • banasy©

      And this involves me, how....? N to the ope.

      You ask, I answer, you argue and assume.

      January 15, 2015 at 12:18 pm |
      • Public Works

        Sadly, it's not about you. It's about the average American who is now stupid and obese thanks inlarge part to Pharmakia druggery.

        January 15, 2015 at 12:22 pm |
      • banasy©

        I know it isn't about me; however, every time you make idiotic assumptions about me, such as "you're brain damaged because of years of_______", you make it about me.
        Do you understand that?

        January 15, 2015 at 12:32 pm |
  2. Public Works

    I would still like to know the name of the private library you work at. So I can call and complain to your boss about you being here 12 hours a day harassing people.

    January 15, 2015 at 12:23 pm |
    • banasy©

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

      They allow me to be online, 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.

      The name of my Library is "The Kiss My Ass You Have Got To Be Kidding Library." /sarcasm

      And why, when I answer your nonsense, it's "harrassment", but when you insult me with your nonsense in the first place, it's "fine?"

      January 15, 2015 at 12:39 pm |
  3. chri§§y¥¥¥¥

    Same old same old! Drunk + male = mean and ugly!

    January 15, 2015 at 12:36 pm |
    • banasy©

      I wonder why he has to attack other people for displaying the sane behaviors he does, Chrissy?

      Such a conundrum.

      January 15, 2015 at 12:42 pm |
  4. banasy©

    I do not think one knows the meaning of the word "harrassment".
    Simply, aggressive pressure or intimidation.

    This is not a word that describes me. How utterly silly.
    Note the word 'aggressive' and note that someone uses that to describe himself.

    January 15, 2015 at 12:45 pm |
  5. chri§§y¥¥¥¥

    My experience with drunkards @ banasy, and you know its a great deal, meaness is a common traite with ALL of them!

    January 15, 2015 at 12:55 pm |
  6. chri§§y¥¥¥¥

    They lash out at everyone, but particularly those they KNOW are NOT weak! Because they know they, themselves, ARE!

    January 15, 2015 at 12:58 pm |
    • banasy©

      Those who lack empathy deserve none, IMHO, Chrissy.

      I shall never apologize to a bully for my inner strength and fortitude; especially to those who seek to minimize me for my mere existence.

      January 15, 2015 at 1:11 pm |
  7. chri§§y¥¥¥¥

    I know and im not looking for pity, that gets ya no where real fast. A weapon today would be REAL good or better yet the address for a pig farmer lmao! Hungry pigs preferably as i have alot of "feed" for them and i know you know what i mean there too, lmfao! 😉

    January 15, 2015 at 1:06 pm |
    • banasy©

      Oh, I know you're not looking for pity, Chrissy; that never entered my mind!

      I am considering taking a little old country drive this weekend; perhaps I can locate a porcine farm....

      January 15, 2015 at 1:16 pm |
  8. chri§§y¥¥¥¥

    Agreed @ banasy!!!

    January 15, 2015 at 1:16 pm |
  9. chri§§y¥¥¥¥

    Lmao call me IMEDIATELY if you do please! Lolololol

    January 15, 2015 at 1:34 pm |
    • banasy©

      ROAD TRIP!!

      (/sarcasm, for those who don't understand a joke.)

      January 15, 2015 at 1:36 pm |
  10. Dr. Drugmoney MD

    Why are you ashamed of the name of the private corporation you work for? Most want their business names mentioned as often as possible. Just strange is all. That you refuse to publish the name of the company you work for. Most people are proud of the names of their employers business.

    January 15, 2015 at 1:35 pm |
    • banasy©

      Lmao. You have got to be kidding. Do you think that's going to work?

      I'm not gullible. KMA.

      January 15, 2015 at 1:41 pm |
    • banasy©

      I am still laughing at your transparent attempt to try and get me fired, because you are a mean-spirited child that debates poorly.

      OMG, too funny!!

      January 15, 2015 at 1:47 pm |
    • banasy©

      (Oh, and it's not a corporation, either.)


      Obvious moron is moron.

      January 15, 2015 at 1:50 pm |
  11. chri§§y¥¥¥¥

    Lmao! Got it! (High 5) And seriously??? Are you FREAKING KIDDING??? Why would she divulge anything more to you about her real life?? So you can twist and turn it into something else to use AGAINST her? You need to shut up while youre ahead!

    January 15, 2015 at 1:50 pm |
    • banasy©

      Omg, I am still laughing, Chrissy; if he got any more transparent, he'd be The Invisible Man.

      January 15, 2015 at 1:55 pm |
  12. chri§§y¥¥¥¥

    I guess i forgot to mention in my anology of DRUNKARDS, they are very, very, VERY spiteful!!!

    January 15, 2015 at 1:54 pm |
  13. Dr. Drugmoney MD

    Oh. Didn't notice you two old ladies were in the middle of yet another gossip session. Let us know when you are done gossiping and perhaps we can discuss pride in one's place of employment.

    January 15, 2015 at 1:54 pm |
    • banasy©

      You go right ahead and discuss pride in your shop, which you've never told us the name of, by the way.

      I know it's a window-tinting shop. I don't need to know it's formal name to understand the gist of your work.

      I'll fond of my work; it is important to me; I work at a library. You don't need to know its formal name to understand the gist of my work.

      Your attempt at reverse psychology failed. Move on. You're clumsy at it, and it shows.

      January 15, 2015 at 2:07 pm |
  14. Dr. Drugmoney MD

    Drinking some whiskey in the privacy of your own home once in awhile is not being a drunkard, dummy.

    January 15, 2015 at 1:56 pm |
    • banasy©

      Oh, of course not. If one drinks alone, and nobody else sees it, one isn't going to call themselves a "drunkard."

      January 15, 2015 at 2:20 pm |
  15. Gossip

    Gossip is idle talk or rumor, especially about personal or private affairs of others.[1] Like spreading rumors that Philip is a drunkard.

    January 15, 2015 at 1:59 pm |
    • banasy©

      Or like spreading the rumor that I am a fat, welfare mother who puts Xanax in her coffee, uses food stamps, is promiscuous, my children are sluts, my creamy baby granddaughter is being raised by me, etcetera?

      Oh, but that's permissible, because you said it, correct? Shut up.

      Your lack of self-awareness and hypocrisy is stunning.

      January 15, 2015 at 2:15 pm |
  16. chri§§y¥¥¥¥

    K gotta go! Going to maybe get some mind altering drugs while i grocery shop! Im thinking maybe mmmm....some VODKA! Lmao joking! Booze is for PUNKS!

    January 15, 2015 at 2:00 pm |
    • Wally World Wal-Mart Pharmacy Guy

      Sure thing miss chrissy. You can have your pills ready by the time your done shopping. AND we accept food stamps.

      January 15, 2015 at 2:02 pm |
      • Wally World Wal-Mart Pharmacy Guy

        Oh. Sorry. We only sell beer. Whiskey and Vodka are the Devil's doings. Ask any old church lady.

        January 15, 2015 at 2:04 pm |
      • banasy©

        Oh, spreading gossip again, old woman?


        January 15, 2015 at 2:16 pm |
  17. AA

    Interestingly, most wives of drunkards who sober-up wish their man had never stopped drinking. They married a drunkard and simply do not know or love this new man that has emerged in their lives. A sober man is a stranger to a woman who marries drunkards.

    January 15, 2015 at 2:01 pm |
    • banasy©

      Evidence, besides anecdotal? Your wife's experience doesn't count.

      January 15, 2015 at 2:18 pm |
  18. chri§§y¥¥¥¥

    Amazing! While hes accusing you of internet playing on the job...hes online much, if not more than our resident troll! Careful philip....your house is about to shatter!! Oh and btw....i am not married, nor do i wish to be! In fact i doubt theres enough money to make me change my mind EVER!!!

    January 15, 2015 at 2:17 pm |
  19. Philip

    Interestingly, Jesus and his early followers preferred strong wine that was kept on the dregs. Not because it was strong, rather because it was cheap. You see, Jesus and his choose to be poor and thrifty. Not comfortable working two jobs in order to have big homes and many fancy belongings as pagans and hedonists do.

    January 15, 2015 at 2:17 pm |
    • Philip

      For example, after dedicating his life in service to God and becoming baptized, Jesus quit being a professional carpenter and became a common day laborer. Paul, once a filthy rich Jew, became a part-time member of tents to support his Christian ministry. Contrast that with how church leaders are rich and living off of the church rather than having a job to support their ministry.

      January 15, 2015 at 2:25 pm |
      • Auto-correct

        *part-time mender of tents

        January 15, 2015 at 2:29 pm |
    • banasy©

      This is nice. Do you think, if Jesus were an online presence, He'd do everything to portray Himself as big of a judgemental twit as you are currently doing?

      First, accusing the entire world of being lazy, and then accusing people who work of being greedy, and then accusing people who are not self-employed as being less worthy of His Grace because they are "common laborers", thus nullifying the "common man" message He was trying to get out?

      Or would He actually call out the hypocrite, as He did in Matthew 7?

      Check that log, Philip.

      January 15, 2015 at 2:33 pm |
  20. Philip

    I'm self employed Ms. Chrissy. I answer only myself at work. Therein lies the difference between me and common laborers such as Donna.

    January 15, 2015 at 2:20 pm |
    • banasy©

      Nah, I'm not a common laborer, and you know it. Although any honest employment is nothing to be ashamed of.

      The difference between me and you, Philip, is that
      1) I read posts, and understand them, and
      2) I am not a monumental hypocrite.

      You couldn't do what I do. You don't have the education or the knowledge.

      I will be the first to admit I am not trained to tiny windows, but I would never dismiss it, because, as I said before, any honest, gainful employment is nothing to be ashamed of.

      Oh, btw? You owning a business does not make you better than me...or anyone.

      It just means you own a business.

      So what?

      January 15, 2015 at 2:27 pm |
      • Philip

        Ha! I've been King of the Library since I was a boy researching microfilm. You don't know me in the least, Donna. So pump-off, squaw.

        January 15, 2015 at 2:53 pm |
      • banasy©

        No. You're not qualified to do what I do.

        Stepping into your shop would not qualify me to do what you what you do, by mere virtue of being in it.

        Your argument is untenable. Pump it yourself; you're ysed to that.

        January 15, 2015 at 2:59 pm |
  21. banasy©

    "Therein lies the difference between me and common laborers such as Donna."

    Guess I am closer to Jesus than you'd care to admit, as "Jesus quit being a professional carpenter and became a common day laborer."

    That means He quit being self-employed and went to work for others, right?

    My, my.

    January 15, 2015 at 2:37 pm |
    • Philip

      There's that little ankle barky doggie I threw one small scrap to. And she gobbles them up each time. (referring to the common laborer comments) One famous man took one bowl of lentil stew in echange for knowing his inheritance! As does Donna picking-up on little scraps I leave behind while ignoring the full-course meal.

      January 15, 2015 at 3:00 pm |
      • banasy©

        Um, no, but presented with the refutation to your argument, you typically start with your laughable insults, which is the sign that you have lost the debate.

        Your own words trip you up, every time.

        January 15, 2015 at 3:06 pm |
  22. chri§§y¥¥¥¥

    Lmfao ya know what THAT tells me @ philip? It tells must be very, very slow for you! If it were busy you wouldnt be able to get drunk and verbally ATTEMPT to abuse women on the internet! And FYI....i worked 2 jobs, sometimes 3, not for a big house and alot of gadgits! I did it to feed AND provide for my 3 children and niece and nephew! And WHY? Because their father thought it much more important to drink and t r a m p around than to take care of his kids!!! So you need to S T F U about things you know nothing about!

    January 15, 2015 at 2:37 pm |
    • banasy©

      Chrissy, you are damned if you do, and damed if you don't.

      If you had taken state help back when then, you'd be labeled as "lazy"; the "so, get another job" card would have been used against you.

      Since you did not do that, your 2-3 jobs suddenly means you are greedy, and you were not interested in raising your family; I believe the term used is "bra burner" or some such nonsense.

      Those who have never understood the reality of single parenthood from a woman's point if view are not qualified to pontificate. It's ridiculous.

      However, anything you tell such an intolerant, judgemental person will inevitably be twisted into something totally unrecognizable, and made fun of mercilessly, as a part of some "truth" they are trying to educate the "stupid" masses of.

      It is untenable, and it is crystal clear who really has the problem in this situation: it isn't you.

      January 15, 2015 at 2:53 pm |
      • Philip

        A person is either desirous of owning many fancy things aka "greedy", or one is not. It's that simple. What are you willing to do to get by. More than is absolutely necessary, or more than enough for you to live comfortably as Jesus did not.

        January 15, 2015 at 2:56 pm |
      • banasy©

        In other words, Chrissy and I are doing it right?


        Thank you!

        January 15, 2015 at 3:08 pm |
    • Philip

      Ummm, America's economy is down from several years ago, chrussty. Those living off of government handouts are so out of touch with reality.

      January 15, 2015 at 3:08 pm |
  23. chri§§y¥¥¥¥

    And another FYI....ive been abused in every way known to drunkards....and there is nothing you have invented that can best what theyve done! It only made me stronger! So your goofy attempts to put me down, are a waste of your time! I will NEVER be a victim again! Got it??

    January 15, 2015 at 2:52 pm |
    • Philip

      I am NOT a drunkard. So kiss my grits and go pop some more pills old lady.

      January 15, 2015 at 2:54 pm |
  24. Philip

    It is YOU Catholics, Donna Banas, who have judged people as worthy of being burned alive forever. Not me. So stfu.

    January 15, 2015 at 2:58 pm |
    • banasy©

      You were baptized Catholic, same as me. Therefore, It is YOU Catholics, Philip Douglas, who have judged people as worthy of being burned alive forever. So stfu.

      You're arguments are increasingly silly.

      January 15, 2015 at 3:03 pm |
      • Philip

        LMAO. I got kicked-out of the first Catholic church I ever attended. For refusing to go downstairs and "learn" from this "priest" that gave me the heebie-jeebies. I have NEVER been baptized into the Catholic religion. So you are again sadly mistaken about me.

        January 15, 2015 at 3:10 pm |
      • banasy©

        Oh, I had no idea you weren't baptized at birth. I assumed you were, as you said your family was Catholic.

        I see the narrative changes once again; you have stated that your uncle and Catholic priest raped you; where did this happen?

        January 15, 2015 at 3:20 pm |
  25. Philip

    Paul became self-employed, banasy. While leaving behind gainful employment of the Jewish hierarchy. He was a leader of Pharisees, and world famous athlete for hunting Christians for sport.

    January 15, 2015 at 3:03 pm |
    • banasy©

      Yes, I know.

      What chapter and verse is it written that one must be self employed to be a Christian?

      Or that people are not worthy of His Grace if they work for others?

      January 15, 2015 at 3:13 pm |
      • Philip

        One can either follow the examples set by men such as Jesus and Paul or they can go their own way and lead themselves or follow the examples of modern-day church leaders and become rich by way of The Word and live in big fine homes and drive big fancy cars.

        January 15, 2015 at 3:20 pm |
      • banasy©

        I see. Okay, thanks for the explanation that it is perfectly permissible to be employed by someone else and still be a good Christian.

        That alignes more with the message I have always gotten about Jesus.

        January 15, 2015 at 3:24 pm |
  26. chri§§y¥¥¥¥

    Goofball! Thats what i shall call you now! You havent an ounce of sence betweem them ears have you? YOU, yourself...admitted to me, your penchance for alcohol. Being a drunkard is easily recognised in your postings! The way you flit from topic to topic, your verbally abusive manner if someone dares question anything you say. You CANT hide it if you make it public! And i am NOT a pill popper just so you know!

    January 15, 2015 at 3:14 pm |
    • Philip

      What old lady can judge a man based on things she read on a news blog? You only HOPE than I'm a drunkard, chrissy. So you can dismiss me when I quote the words of Jesus. Really, you are rejecting his words. Not mine.

      January 15, 2015 at 3:18 pm |
      • banasy©

        You judge us ALL THE TIME based on exposition of what we write here, Philip.

        I find this double-standard to be wholly hypocritical.

        January 15, 2015 at 3:29 pm |
  27. Philip

    Even as a little boy I learned that "hell" is a doctrine of men. NOT a teaching of Jesus who called deceased individuals persons who are "sleeping in death" awaiting the promised resurrection of anyone who has ever died for their own sins. (other than those put to death by God himself, who makes no mistakes)

    January 15, 2015 at 3:16 pm |
  28. chri§§y¥¥¥¥

    Now HOW can THAT be true???? You told us several times that you WERE rayped by a priest! That wasnt true????

    January 15, 2015 at 3:19 pm |
    • Philip

      Not once have I ever said I was rayped by a priest, chrissy. You only hoped I had been. To put me down even further.

      January 15, 2015 at 3:21 pm |
      • Philip

        There wasn't even a Catholic church in the small town where I grew-up, chrissy. Sheesh.

        January 15, 2015 at 3:25 pm |
  29. chri§§y¥¥¥¥

    I spent countless hours feeling bad for you and what you went thru and now i find out it was a LIE? I will NEVER believe a damn thing you have to say again! GOOD BYE!

    January 15, 2015 at 3:25 pm |
    • Philip

      I said that I was abused by religious men, chrissy. Not priests.

      January 15, 2015 at 3:28 pm |
      • banasy©

        No. You said you were raped by a priest.
        You stated that quite emphatically.
        And when I told you that you painting all priests with the pedo paintbrush, when other religious men have done it, you quite condescendingly started using "religious men" (quotation marks yours) as a way to further your railing against the Catholic church.

        You need a spread sheet to keep up with your stories.

        January 15, 2015 at 3:33 pm |
      • Philip

        No. I did not. You are a liar. And I bring-up the topic of openly gay priests and policemen being caught sodomizing little boys because nobody else does. Not because I'm an adult survivor of religious abuses.

        January 15, 2015 at 3:39 pm |
      • banasy©

        Yes, you did. I am not the liar; you are. You stated emphatically that your uncle and a priest abused you, and when asked why you did not get them prosecuted, said they were long dead.

        You are a liar.

        I don't give a damn how often you bring up your garbage. You tailored that to fit your agenda, and when called out on it, you point your finger at others to cover up the fact that you lied in the first place.

        I don't know how you live with yourself, but you are a pathological liar, and your lies are catching up to you.

        You are truly a pathetic piece of crap. I doubt you were ever abused in the first place; I used to believe you, but your story changes so often, it isn't hard to see that it was all a fabrication in the first place.

        Shame on you for cheapening the tragedy of children who actually WERE abused. You are an unconscionable monster.

        January 15, 2015 at 3:53 pm |
  30. Philip

    You probably read something someone stealing my exact s/n said and believed it was me. Over 15 years ago chatroom technology prevented stealing s/n's. That technology is gone. It is the mission of CNN and ALL other major media outlets to confuse people. Not inform them. And so our blog technologies were reduced to allow for stealing of exact s/n's. To add to the confusion.

    January 15, 2015 at 3:27 pm |
    • banasy©

      Oh, don't start the "my name was stolen" bs. You lie all the time if it furthers your agenda. Don't blame the media for your fabrications.

      You're getting worse. Seek help.

      January 15, 2015 at 3:55 pm |
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