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. Amos

    Death. THE mystery. No..death is not final. We were born once, absolutely no reason we cannot be born perpetually or exist in a different dimension. Billions of earths in this galaxy alone. Many out there to continue after our solar system is dead.
    Hyptosis will reveal your previous lives.

    December 31, 2014 at 9:03 am |
  2. Philip

    Most call it Resting in peace. Jesus called it Sleeping in death.

    December 31, 2014 at 9:05 am |
  3. chri§§y

    And i should NOW believe youre being sincere??? Youve done nothing but mean and spiteful to me for so long its kinda hard to believe that you are suddenly trying to be nice. Sorry, but i tried that route a month ago and you used it to be hateful so forgive me if i dont fall into THAT trap again. But hey have a happy new years anyway!

    December 31, 2014 at 9:06 am |
  4. Philip

    Most call it Resting in peace. Jesus called it "Sleeping in death."
    I don't care if the priest or preacher man claims that when you die you either go to heaven or burn in hell. Jesus is The Way. Not them.

    December 31, 2014 at 9:15 am |
  5. chri§§y

    Ok you can stop preaching now philip! Because YOU dont practise what you preach therefore i am not listening to you! Good day!

    December 31, 2014 at 9:22 am |
    • Philip

      Men are judged based on what they do, Chrissy. Not what they say. And you have never seen me do anything so Back Off with your harsh judgements of me. Thank you.

      December 31, 2014 at 9:27 am |
      • banasy©

        Um...if you think you get a pass at being as mean and hateful as you want to be because they're only words, you'd be mistaken.

        Nice try at rationalizing your nastiness, though.


        December 31, 2014 at 10:56 am |
    • Philip

      And no matter about me. The words of Jesus are TRUE concerning dead people resting in peace. Making liars of those claiming dead people either go to heaven or burn in hell.

      December 31, 2014 at 9:30 am |
      • banasy©

        Really? Prove it. Prove what someone believes is a lie, and that they are willfully telling that lie.

        Everybody's interpretation of the Bible is different, Philip.

        You read what you want to read to bolster your own biases.

        Funny, that.

        December 31, 2014 at 11:09 am |
  6. Philip

    I have a black son living in Ferguson. He is 22 years old. He has ED problems and owns a gun. I am terrified.

    I texted him to say that Jesus is the way.

    December 31, 2014 at 9:28 am |
  7. Philip

    Tap tap chrissy, class is in session. Listen and learn. Jesus loves all of us. You read the bible don't you.

    December 31, 2014 at 9:28 am |
    • Philip

      Jesus loves all of us but he does not like what all of us do in our spare time, rather.

      December 31, 2014 at 9:31 am |
  8. Philip

    Tap tap. Let me in, I told Latisha, 22 years ago. Most beautiful black girl ever. Looked like Madana at age 20 dipped in chocolate. So I drilled her.
    Today, she's just a fat cow like old banasy.

    December 31, 2014 at 9:33 am |
    • banasy©

      How nice, fake Philip.

      However, you are incorrect about me.

      December 31, 2014 at 11:06 am |
  9. Philip

    The prayers of lawbreakers are detestable to God says The Word, for example.

    December 31, 2014 at 9:34 am |
    • Philip

      The average American woman does resemble a cow made fat by steroids and hormones. Big deal.

      December 31, 2014 at 9:38 am |
  10. Philip

    "There WILL BE a resurrection." says The Word.

    December 31, 2014 at 9:36 am |
  11. chri§§y

    Tap this philip...youre just a mean, ugly, nasty hypocrit and i really dont give a damn WHAT your uneducated azz has to say! Talk about Jesus in one breath and fornication in the next! Youre the true spawn of satan!

    December 31, 2014 at 9:48 am |
  12. Observer

    "Prayers of lawbreakers are detestable to God," Philip? Really? So only the good can pray?
    As usual, you're just babbling.

    Sorry to hear about your daughter, chrissy. Truly sorrowful.

    December 31, 2014 at 9:51 am |
  13. chri§§y

    And i doubt you have enough money to buy one hour with ANY woman average or fat! So just stuff it!

    December 31, 2014 at 9:51 am |
  14. Observer

    So tell me Phillip, if one breaks the law, and prays to God and Jesus for forgiveness, he will be detested?
    Why? Isn't that one purpose for praying as well as going to church?

    December 31, 2014 at 9:54 am |
    • Philip

      Grow a brain @ Observer. The one practicing the breaking of law. Not the imperfect person born imperfect and so cannot possibly keep the law 100% of the time.
      There is nothing wrong with the occasional drink of wine or need of pain killing meds. It is the practicing of such things that is outlawed in God's word.

      December 31, 2014 at 10:12 am |
      • banasy©

        Another rationalization to explain your drunkeness.

        December 31, 2014 at 11:00 am |
  15. chri§§y

    Thank you Observer!

    December 31, 2014 at 9:55 am |
  16. Observer

    You really don't have an answer for that one do you Phillip? I guess you just put your foot in your mouth again.
    I suggest you listen to chrissy as well.

    December 31, 2014 at 9:58 am |
    • Philip

      I replied to your stupid reasoning, Observer. You just couldn't shut-up long enough to read it.

      December 31, 2014 at 10:34 am |
  17. Observer

    You're welcome chrissy. As always, these forums are so much better with you here. Try not to let Phillip get to you. He is a strange man.
    Losing a loved one is heart shattering. I can't imagine what the both of you are going through.
    Good bye chrissy.

    December 31, 2014 at 10:04 am |
    • Cujoe

      Odd, @Observer. Most people have experienced what it feels like to lose a child or other close family member or friend. You can only imagine? How old are you? 12?

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


        December 31, 2014 at 10:45 am |
      • Cujoe


        December 31, 2014 at 10:51 am |
      • Cujoe

        He he. You stepped right into that one, Donna. Lmao

        December 31, 2014 at 10:52 am |
      • banasy©

        Not really. You are still spelling Cujo wrong, PEDo.

        December 31, 2014 at 10:59 am |
    • Observer

      @cujo. Nothing odd about it. I lost a loved one by heart attack, another beloved one died in an auto accident. Never have I lost anyone in a manner that they are terminal. This is such sorrow that it's something I can't imagine. I don't see where this could offend you, otherwise why would you diminish my respects to chrissy. By all means please do feel superior, although artificially.

      December 31, 2014 at 12:23 pm |
  18. Philip

    Your priest says that when you due you either go straight to heaven or straight to burn in hell. Jesus says the dead are only sleeping. You decide who to believe. And live or due with that decision firmly in your mind.

    December 31, 2014 at 10:15 am |
    • Schoolmarm

      *die, not due. Mkay?

      December 31, 2014 at 10:36 am |
  19. Philip

    I enjoy pepperoni priest pizza with all of my favorite priests

    December 31, 2014 at 10:28 am |
  20. Give & Take

    Do Americans give more or take more from small nations that have vast natural resources yet also have starving populations. Be honest now.

    December 31, 2014 at 10:29 am |
    • Philip

      I have observed Americans taking more from small starving countries than giving to them. That's just what I have observed over the past few decades. So don't go getting your panties in a wad and harp on me for what I have seen.

      December 31, 2014 at 10:43 am |
      • Skeptic

        No. You haven't seen horse dump, Philip. You are just a phoney and a liar.

        December 31, 2014 at 5:23 pm |
  21. Philip

    Now I do know what I am talking about. For 30 years I weighed 600 pounds.

    December 31, 2014 at 11:38 am |
  22. chri§§y

    Lol cujo huh? What a most appropriate name for you philip. You really are that evil...even at 2 years old!! You hateful P O S!

    December 31, 2014 at 11:58 am |
  23. chri§§y

    @ Observer. Its a lost cause because philip/cujo has no concious nor any values! And absolutely no respect...particularly for women!

    December 31, 2014 at 12:34 pm |
    • bobcat2u

      @ chrissy

      I just got back from out of town. I am really sorry to hear about Melissa. I can't begin to imagine what you are feeling. If there is anything I can do to help, let me know.

      December 31, 2014 at 12:55 pm |
  24. chri§§y

    Thank you @ bobcat. Your kind words are enough. I know she will be in a better place which is more important than my pain! So thank you again. Ok i have to get on the road soon but many thanks to all my friends!

    December 31, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
  25. Philip

    How come I'm the only one who can imagine what Chrissy is going through right now while the rest of you lay claim to not being able to imagine it? Why? Because it is a catch phrase used by pharmicated TV programmed automatons, is why. Like "Rest in Peace" while meaning Goto Heaven or Burrrrrn in "hell". Or, "God Bless America" for that matter.

    December 31, 2014 at 5:15 pm |
    • Old Lady No Hair

      Owe mye Gawd! I can't imagine what she is going through.
      B-14. Omg! Bingo!

      December 31, 2014 at 5:17 pm |
      • Philip Douglas' Productions, inc.

        The above is a classic to be remembered always in the archives of The Cloud. Another generation of peoples might see it. 🙂

        December 31, 2014 at 5:22 pm |
  26. Skeptic

    Philip can imagine anything. He is an ignorant azzz. He has absolutely no respect for chrissy nor for her dying daughter.
    Yet he lectures the world about many things such as dangers of drugs, motorcycle gangs, and all sorts of Philip manure.

    December 31, 2014 at 5:28 pm |
    • Philip

      Philip manure. Really. How old are you, Skeptic. 12?

      December 31, 2014 at 6:08 pm |
  27. Skeptic

    Philip will give his speeches to us all, then turn around and be more repulsive than anyone else on these blogs.
    If he were to disappear tomorrow, nobody would care.

    December 31, 2014 at 5:33 pm |
    • Philip

      If I were not here, neither would your comments be. And so, by your own admission, your being here right now is for less than nothing. Making you worse than me who is nothing, even in your own stupid mind.

      December 31, 2014 at 5:38 pm |
  28. Old Lady Banquet 4 chairty

    Ya'll come on down now and pig out in the name of women's breast research...errrr, Susan B. Kohmen breast cancer, rather. Huh huh.
    After you stuff your pie holes, Dr's Nipcut and Kilroy will demonstrate preventative double mastectomy on a 13 teeted sow.

    December 31, 2014 at 5:34 pm |
  29. Philip

    Odd. Jesus did not attend funerals. "Let the dead bury their own." he said.
    Chrissy? Why are you airing this in public? For what reason do you share misery with us? Because it lives company? What?
    I am not the man that coined the phrase Let the dead bury their own dead (while the rest of ya's back off). So take it up with Jesus. Not me.

    December 31, 2014 at 5:44 pm |
  30. Broker

    I can't imagine what she is going through right now. Oh my God.
    Market @ 18K "Omg!"

    December 31, 2014 at 5:49 pm |
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