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. rupert

    Philip u are a pig like blue saffron

    December 30, 2014 at 3:28 pm |
  2. Adam

    Leave Philip alone Rupert. ROFLMAO

    December 30, 2014 at 5:46 pm |
  3. rupert

    @Adam. U are a pig

    December 30, 2014 at 7:54 pm |
  4. rupert

    Banasy is not here because she will spend the night in a pig's pen with philip and joey..

    December 30, 2014 at 7:56 pm |
  5. rupert

    Pig list

    Eric Holder
    Michel Obama
    Taylor swift
    Jennifer Lopez
    Blue Saffron
    Shinning Star
    Al Sharpton
    GW Bush

    December 30, 2014 at 8:28 pm |
    • blue rupert

      All except for Michelle Obama's hairy legs and Adams apple of a dude, that is.

      December 31, 2014 at 1:29 am |
      • banasy©

        That have birth to two children, you utterly ignorant rumor-mongering ass.

        December 31, 2014 at 10:47 am |
      • banasy©


        December 31, 2014 at 10:48 am |
  6. Philip

    I am Philip. I live in utah. I am an oil man...a wild catter.
    I eat doggie poop.

    December 30, 2014 at 8:37 pm |
  7. Philip

    I like to stalk women. Then steal their under.wear. I wear them when I am alone. Then I chop them up and burn them to ashes.

    I have dark desires.

    December 30, 2014 at 8:54 pm |
  8. Blue Saffron

    Philip. You are one sick b@s tard.

    December 30, 2014 at 9:37 pm |
  9. Philip.

    I have a ra pe kit:

    Duct tape

    I am Philip. I am a sicko

    December 30, 2014 at 11:25 pm |
    • Dazzle©

      Phillip, I see you're back to posting your odd remarks.
      I suggest you take 50mg of Propofol.

      December 31, 2014 at 6:10 am |
  10. Observer

    Philip you disgust me.

    December 30, 2014 at 11:27 pm |
  11. chri§§y

    You do realise @ Observer, that you probably just made his day by telling him that dont you? Thats the kinda thing he gets off on!

    December 30, 2014 at 11:53 pm |
    • black rupert

      Yo. Chrissy. (no, wait. That's my Rocky Balboa) Ahem. Biatch! Who am u think u is.

      December 31, 2014 at 1:40 am |
  12. Philip

    Not me. I fell asleep right after work and just now awoke.

    December 31, 2014 at 1:13 am |
  13. blue rupert

    I'm so blue. I choked my last frog and am out of kittens. ;(

    December 31, 2014 at 1:16 am |
  14. blue rupert

    Kitten juggling isn't as fun as frog choking but it's better than nothing.

    December 31, 2014 at 1:20 am |
  15. blue rupert

    I'm blue from blowing up frogs. T take swizzle stick straws from my mom and poke them up frog butts and blow real hard and sometimes it makes my head tingle and face turn blue. Mom thinks it's cute of me. 🙂

    December 31, 2014 at 1:24 am |
  16. black rupert

    What will it be like, yo. You do know what I am saying? Word up.

    December 31, 2014 at 1:36 am |
    • black rupert

      Gettin' jiggy with it.
      – Will Smith

      December 31, 2014 at 1:43 am |
  17. chri§§y

    @ black rupert...yo, why dont you get jiggy with this~stop calling me a biatch and i wont call you the 8th dickless wonder of the world! Word up!!!!

    December 31, 2014 at 7:18 am |
  18. chri§§y

    And for the record @ rupert, most black people i know have more manners than you and dont talk like blooming idiots! Oh and you might be able to have surgery to correct that 8th wonder of the world problem you got going on then you may not be such a miserable fuch!

    December 31, 2014 at 7:29 am |
    • blue rupert

      "Most black people." Lmao

      December 31, 2014 at 8:04 am |
    • blue rupert

      What about most yellow people, Chrissy. How do they behave? In your opinions concerning how people of certain colors behave themselves. Are blacks got better manners than yellows?

      December 31, 2014 at 8:09 am |
  19. blue cow

    bloo. Bbbbbloo.

    December 31, 2014 at 8:20 am |
  20. blue Chrissy

    I think his dick fell off. Am not sure.

    December 31, 2014 at 8:21 am |
  21. blue coyote

    Blue! Blue blue blue Bluuuuuue.

    December 31, 2014 at 8:24 am |
  22. blue banasy@

    Stop choking me, honey.

    December 31, 2014 at 8:26 am |
    • banasy©

      The only thing you choke is your chicken, Philip.
      You can put aside your violent rape fantasies, now.

      Also, putting "blue" in front of a name doesn't absolve you from your lie that you never steal a poster's username.

      9th Commandment and all, yanno?

      December 31, 2014 at 10:53 am |
  23. chri§§y

    I used the term "black" because that was the term YOU used!! And in all honesty MOST people have better manners than YOU no matter what color they are! If you didnt constantly start your crap with me i wouldnt have to toss it back at you! You were a much nicer guy when you posed as little mister! Now youre just a dirtbag always trying to pick a fight. And as one of the most important person in my life is dying im in no mood to be nice to your dirtbag azz!!!

    December 31, 2014 at 8:26 am |
  24. chri§§y

    But i do sincerely hope you never have to watch your daughter die a slow and painful death no matter how mean and spiteful you are! Its the most horrid thing you can ever imagine and i wouldnt wish it on my worst enemy!

    December 31, 2014 at 8:32 am |
  25. Blue Joey

    Blujoe? (take on King's Cujo)

    December 31, 2014 at 8:33 am |
  26. Blue Philip

    Sorry to hear about your daughter, Chrissy. I hope she pulls through OK.

    December 31, 2014 at 8:37 am |
  27. Yellow peeps

    Are most yellow people good mannered, I wonder. Chrissy?

    December 31, 2014 at 8:42 am |
  28. chri§§y

    @ fake philip i just told you shes DYING! There is no pulling through. And if you were the real philip im sure that would thrill you to no end!

    December 31, 2014 at 8:45 am |
  29. Philip

    "The day of one's dying is better than the day of one's being born" said a man millions call The Wisest Man Who Ever Lived.
    Your troubled start the day you are born and end on the day you die, is the explanation.

    December 31, 2014 at 8:51 am |
  30. chri§§y

    If that was meant to make me feel better, it didnt!!!

    December 31, 2014 at 8:59 am |
    • Philip

      Your child is falling asleep, Chrissy. This, according to how Jesus described the condition of the dead; sleeping.

      December 31, 2014 at 9:03 am |
    • Philip

      The priest and preacher man who claim you either go to heaven or burn in hell after you die are in staunch disagreement with what Jesus taught concerning the condition of the dead.

      December 31, 2014 at 9:18 am |
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