Charity is Not the Antidote to Over-Consumption

Stuff. I've written about how it tends to pile up, how our society seems designed to get us to accumulate more and more, and how it can become a burden. For many of us, one solution to this is to 'purge'. We go through our closets and basements and cupboards and get rid of stuff [...]

We’re Not Starting from Zero: Southern Alberta Floods of 2013

Here in my province, there was epic flooding in the month of June, resulting in widespread damage and evacuations in many communities. The downtown area of one of our biggest cities was actually underwater for long periods. Many people were hit hard by these events, suffering extensive damage to their homes and possessions. The outpouring [...]

Don’t Do More; Do Better

There's a shift underway in our world. The days when everyone believed that quantity and speed were always better are on the decline. The idea that having more stuff, making more money, and being busier is the path to happiness is more and more outdated. Whatever the reason, a lot of people are moving towards [...]

Activism: What’s in a name?

What comes to mind when you hear the word "activist"? For some, it's a heavily charged term. The first picture that springs to mind when I hear it is that of a militant, closed-minded fanatic; completely out of touch with the mainstream, wrapped up in his or her own activities; doing more to alienate people [...]

Be the Squeaky Wheel

In a recent interview about a documentary dealing with hunger in the U.S., the filmmaker quoted a lawmaker who said that if he hears from just 6 people on an issue, it changes how he votes on it. Sometimes, the stuff we need is just there for the taking Our elected representatives do [...]

Good is Good! Bad is Bad! Give Us Money!

Some time ago, I saw a speaker for a human rights organization give a laundry list of horrible things (child poverty, human trafficking, etc.) and declare that his organization stood against these things. So what did his organization stand for? According to the speech: justice, rights, hope, and imagination. Well, bully for them. They're fighting [...]

Non Profit vs. For Profit (And Why I Don’t Care)

What's the best tool for making change: non-profits, charity, traditional for profit business, social enterprise, what? This is one of the big questions in the world of social benefit these days. Here are three really interesting recent articles on the subject, (here, here, and here). Despite its popularity, this may be the wrong question. Don't [...]

The Difference Between Giving to Charity and Going to the Dentist

I have a friend who complains that the version of charitable giving I recommend is too much work. He compares me with health specialists who recommend an unrealistic amount of work for whatever body part is their specialty: The dentist wants us to brush and floss after every meal. The personal trainer wants us to [...]

Good Works In Mysterious Ways

Positive change can come about in any number of ways; not always ones we would expect. I've recently been reminded of this through an experience with a very driven woman, Shirley Borrelli. Shirley is an image consultant. She helps people with their clothes, hair makeup, etc. Not the kind of work you would immediately associate [...]

How To Change the World On Your Own Terms

There are so many good causes out there - so many organizations that want and need our help to make the world a better place. You don't have to know everything about each of these items to be able to choose one. Many of us wonder: how does one filter through all the [...]