AKA Addendum to Billionaire Philanthropist:
I reckon that some people reckon (yes, it was deliberate) that you can’t possibly join the dots from Person A – who buys a Three Thousand Dollar handbag, to Person B – a child dying of preventable disease in a “developing” nation.
But I think you can.
I do join those dots.
I see what I deem attribution. That the condition of Person B is DIRECTLY attributable to the condition of Person A. Of course, please don’t take me literally, I’m not talking about two people here, they are representative.
Let’s take a hypothetical.
Let’s say that Person A is a woman (yes, a man can buy a handbag… if he wants… a man-bag to go with his moobs.). Person A is “wealthy”… Person A is so wealthy that she can, without a moments thought or hesitation buy herself a $3k handbag, or even several if she likes.
I’m only using the handbag as an analogy… it could be anything that is stupidly priced for a stupid thing. I mean, does this handbag do things that other handbags don’t ? No. It’s just a bag, for carrying around stuff.
Or is it ? Actually it’s not. It’s a handbag slash status symbol. It’s “branded”, and it’s a swanky, expensive brand. Why ? So that it can be recognised as a status symbol… so that it can say silently, that it’s owner is well off.
Now, perhaps she worked hard for that money (so hard for it honey), perhaps her partner did, perhaps her parents did. Or perhaps she lied, cheated, exploited, avoided slash evaded tax, and so forth. If you think that this modus operandi does not have a knock on effect that travels down the social scale and throughout the world, then you’re living in a box.
So she’s entitled (good word that) to spend it as she wills. That’s true, of course. Let’s take it as read that Person A doesn’t give any money to any charity. Person A also feels “offended” when she sees a homeless person outside the exclusive (good word that) stores that she wants to shop in.
However, the ONUS of responsibility for how we spend; for what we value, is ON US.
So let’s say Person A makes a different choice. She still wants a “nice” handbag. OK, great. Not something I understand, but it takes all kinds to make a world, I guess. So Person A CHOOSES to buy a handbag that costs say $1,000 – that’s still a pretty pricey receptacle, the only purpose of which is to carry shit around – and then she CHOOSES to give $2,000 to the charity of her choice.
It might be an international Aid Agency, a medical charity working with preventable diseases in children living in “developing nations”, or an anti animal cruelty charity, or it might be a shelter for homeless people.
Whatever she wants is fine. It’s her CHOICE. And then every time she thinks about spending silly money on silly things for herself, she makes a different CHOICE.
The point is she CHOSE to help other people who have not had the opportunities she’s had, or in the case where she’s been less than ethical – maybe she’s trying to salve her conscience. OK, so I wouldn’t agree with the scenario bereft of morals in the first place, however, she appears to have located her conscience… which is a start I suppose.
This is just one hypothetical example of how Person A’s choices CAN affect Person B….
Extrapolate that out the wide world over and we could be living in a VERY different world.
Of course, one can’t possibly crap on about Handbags without referencing Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’… can one…
‘To be born, or at any rate bred, in a handbag, whether it has handles or not, seems to me to display a contempt for the ordinary decencies of family life that reminds one of the worst excesses of the French Revolution.’