Given all the guilt I expressed in my previous post about whether buying our dog a Mean Kitty toy and Valentine’s Day card was injurious to the Third World, I was happy that Serena enjoyed playing with her new friend this morning.
To make myself even happier, I decided to transform my guilt into action. A donation went off to UNICEF. Now I could feel good that we were giving more to needy overseas children than to our spoiled American dog.
Then I had to deal with my Third World lack of computers while I was recycling mine guilt. I found a British group called Computer Aid International that bills itself as “the world’s largest non-profit supplier of computers to developing countries.” Though not an IRS-approved tax-exempt organization, it is possible for Americans to make tax-deductible donations that will reach Computer Aid International through a go-between group, CAFAmerica.
Ah, now Valentine’s Day was looking brighter. I had taken a few small steps toward mending my broken heart—by which I mean the division between the feelings that I express in words and the feelings that I express in actions. Like so many other people I talk a much better game than I play it.
Last Friday night Laurel and I went to the monthly meeting of our Salon discussion group. Currently everyone in the group could be described as a “good liberal.” We talked about social inequality, how outrageous it is that a deposed CEO of Hewlett-Packard could be given tens of millions of dollars for doing a lousy job.
Talk, talk, talk. I’m so good at talk. I can say it is horribly unfair that the wage gap in America between CEOs and the lowest-paid workers is much larger than it is in Europe. But I thoughtlessly keep on enjoying my own standard of living that is so much higher than that of billions of people in the rest of the world.
At some point, hypocrisy kept hid under the lid of rationalizations can’t help but bubble out. I think I’m starting to hear some sputtering from the flames. A $100 donation won’t do much to equalize the pressure between my high-minded thoughts and my lowly actual actions.
It helps though.