You can Help Someone - But is it your Duty to Contribute?

Peter B. GiblettStarred Page By Peter B. Giblett, 28th May 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/1i_kkk3n/
Posted in Wikinut>Business>Ethics

Giving and Charitable causes is always a complex issue and we are asked to contribute for much of our waking day, but it is necessary to ask whether we should be giving to many of the causes or whether they should be a part the duties of a normal caring society?

Charity Begins at Home

Yes it does begin at home, but it all too often seems that even before you step outside of your house there are charities begging you for you money and I say begging because today the requests for money seem all too frequent, they start with the morning DJ and end with the last advertisement segment before you go to bed - yet in truth it is necessary to question the way that demands for donations has taken over our lives. Having gone out for some extra groceries, the cashier asked if we would be happy to donate $2 to a local hospice, but only last week the same supermarket was asking for donations to their favourite cancer charity, indeed it could be said that we live our lives donating.

Now there are many charities that are worthy of our support and many that are certainly not, for some charities the donation business is just that a way to make a lot of money, many play on people's insecurities, particularly about health threatening conditions but there is a valid question should we as a society be giving to such charitable causes? Part of the problem here is charity helps the recipient with their immediate problem, but it doesn't do much to deal with the root causes of that problem - for example our local charity, Project SHARE, provides food and support services to residents of Niagara Falls, Ontario, who are living on or below the poverty line yet in truth they can do nothing to ensure that poverty conditions do not exist in the first place, they can do nothing to create real jobs which leaves a fundamental problem in society.

The "Band Aid"

There are many charities that do stop-gap or 'band-aid' work, either exclusively or at the worst of economic times, the aim to eradicate global poverty requires more than is possible via any amount of donations, it is about finding a better way to manage world resources and this is often about resolving deeply seated political issues across the globe and in truth even removing the corrupt government of an underdeveloped nation does not solve the problem as the next incumbent becomes as corrupt as the previous one. The millions of dollars that have been raised to combat starvation in many parts of Africa have proven, over decades, to be nothing but a temporary solution - helping one generation of starving children does not mean the next generation won't face exactly the same problem, as will the generation after that.

Even those charities that seek to install wells and irrigation systems, with the intent to ensure that if people can grow their own food there will be no future starvation in the village fail when facing the brute force of a future warlord who simply destroys all their good work or takes control of it for his own benefit.

According to the BBC "combating poverty involves slow processes of political, cultural and social change, with many stakeholders, significant opposition and serious issues of self-determination and coercion to be navigated". Part of the challenge here is that there are only two sets of people that are at the forefront of envisioning the need to eradicate poverty in the underdeveloped world, these are those suffering the brunt of the problem and those in the West that are liberal minded and campaign against poverty, sadly few others care.

However for those that do not see the sense in applying the "band aid" then of course there is the question, should we spend to make a better world in 10 years' time if that means that people who we could have fed starve to death tomorrow?

THE Disease

For many charities work is devoted to dealing with the fundamental causes of health problems, for example the cause that intends to eradicate deadly diseases, like cancer, and on the surface this seems entirely worthy and something that the whole of society should unreservedly support. In truth there exists today a cure to cancer at the same time as the "big" cancer charities campaign to "find the cure in our lifetime" and in truth they are so intricately linked to the drug companies that they are unaware that cures come in other forms, and on goes their campaign to raise yet more money - in fact for them raising money is big business and demonstrate many of the worst traits of global conglomerates.

There are two questions that should be asked in relation to charities looking for cures:

  • Should society fund research into causes and cures for health problems?
  • Are we looking in the wrong direction, should we be seeking to prevent health problems rather than cure disease?

The charities that raise money for cures to particular diseases function because of our fear of catching that disease and lets be honest disease is big business. However the charities that supposedly seek a cure are often as as big a disease as the drug companies they support because not all cures are to be found in drugs - but in addition we should question the acceptability of the majority of the drugs on the market today as they may hold in check one problem, e.g. cancer, they cause other problems, such as liver or pancreas problems.

Most days I eat things that have cancer and other disease prevention properties which means I am acting with social responsibility but even doing so it is still possible to contract a deadly disease and I still question the validity for charities raising money to cure disease when this should be a social responsibility.

Is There a Place for Charity in Healthy Living?

This is a good question and relates much to the interaction between the societal profit motive and the development of business versus the world of non-profits that are needed to provide the underlying infrastructure in society. To put it bluntly we need roads to facilitate trade (road building is not about profit, it is a social need) because without the roads it is impossible for traders to buy and sell merchandise and it this respect there is no reason why society cannot categorise seeking cures for diseases as a necessary non-profit function of society because we need healthy people in order for our society to function well, yet they should be compelled to look at all alternatives, including holistic medicine rather than simply developing a society that pops pills.

Alternatives are essential, especially those that prevent disease and should arguably be a constitutional right, especially since they can reduce the total cost of healthcare. The problem with healthcare related charities is they they encourage a culture of pill popping thus are not encouraging healthy people and therefore we need to find a way to extricate charity from healthcare, especially when those charities are allied to the pharmaceutical conglomerates, but this also requires government organisations, like the FDA, consider people's healthy living ahead of the needs of corporations and the need for profit.

We humans need an infrastructure for our health that is as fundamental and necessary as that which supports the trade that travels on our roads today.

Pictures and Images

  • Charity begins at home by stiryoursouls.blogspot.com
  • Feed the World from Wikimedia Commons
  • disease by amc.edu
  • Challenge the Mind

By the Author

The opinion expressed in this article is a general critique made available to ensure discussion and thought about this subject. Other recent publications include:

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Tags

Band Aid, Charity, Culture Of Pill Popping, Demands For Donations, Donations, Duty To Contribute, Help, Root Cause, Should We Give, Social Responsibility, Stop-Gap, The Problem, Work, Worthy Of Our Support

Meet the author

author avatar Peter B. Giblett
Author of "Is your Business Ready? For the Social Media Revolution"

Social media consultant, with C-Level background.

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Comments

author avatar Bets
29th May 2015 (#)

Yes, this is so true....the following you wrote, "today the requests for money seem all too frequent, they start with the morning DJ and end with the last advertisement segment before you go to bed." Additionally, I'd like stating, health food also includes a mushroom diet. They are little cancer cell killing machines and I might write about that later on my page. Have a good day. A well worthy read article. Thanks! Smiles, Bets

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
29th May 2015 (#)

Bets you are so welcome.

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author avatar Bets
31st May 2015 (#)

:)

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
29th May 2015 (#)

I keep telling my friends that the American Cancer Society has a vested interest in NOT finding a cure for the disease. They will not acknowledge that there are any alternative treatments besides chemotherapy and radiation that can be effective, because there is very little money to be made from them. Great post Peter. Thank you.

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
29th May 2015 (#)

I have witnessed the same with both Canadian and UK cancer charities - the same can also be said for those looking into other diseases.

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author avatar Randhir Bechoo
30th May 2015 (#)

Interesting article.

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author avatar Nancy Czerwinski
30th May 2015 (#)

Peter, excellent article as always. I'm a firm believer in alternative treatments. I also agree with Steve's statement.

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
31st May 2015 (#)

Thank you.

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author avatar n.c.radomes
31st May 2015 (#)

General health knowledge like this helps in some way.

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author avatar Ptrikha
1st Jun 2015 (#)

Somehow if someone had shown me this article without sharing the source, I would have thought that this was written by someone living in India. I agree with you on lots of counts-
1)Preventive medicine and approach should be explore more as compared to the allopathic- pills and tests. In fact, India has a good alternative in the form of Ayurveda, and Yoga. I have tried Ayurveda for some of the things and it is a good means of increasing resistance towards diseases, though some Allopathic doctors even call it as a work of quack! Ayurveda is developing and hopefully will become stronger in the coming future.
2)I have also seen cases where people have Charitable Trusts and NGOs who ask people for moeny for someone's critical illness treatment, and some people do fall prey to their intentions. So one has to be careful and donate to charities with proven records and perhaps donate only to these with proper authorization number, and annual statement.

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
3rd Jun 2015 (#)

Not all charities have a bad reputation, but for certain ones, they have no interest in curing the disease the campaign for because that is big money.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
3rd Jun 2015 (#)

Holistic treatment methods should be researched and promoted - many drugs have more severe side effects than their curative efficacy - sort of from the frying pan to the fire!

I have been hounded by volunteers at super markets, train stations, but if it is a daily routine, then they are overdoing it and becomes a pain. Some also do "in your face" appealing that demeans the charity angle. Charity should not become a business. Good thoughts Peter - siva

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author avatar Ptrikha
4th Jun 2015 (#)

Yet, there are people who play with people's emotions, and ask for charity, often in name of helping a critically ill patient, when all they plan is to use the money for themselves.
I prefer Organizations like CRY, Helpage India,Give India and a new social crowdfunding initiative called "Rang De", who also share reports of how and where the money was used.

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
4th Jun 2015 (#)



I am a believer in not using drugs and eat things everyday that have preventative properties and using holistic treatments. But it is the charities that seem to be a cancer on our lives.

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
4th Jun 2015 (#)

In the west we do not get asked for donations in the name of one patient.

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