Why I Don’t Have a Minute For the Man on the Street

On a recent trip to Seattle, I was amazed to find the downtown littered with fresh-faced young people holding binders and asking passerby for a minute to talk about one social issue or other. These, of course, are street fundraisers - paid by charities to raise money. I've seen the occasional one in other cities, [...]

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 The idea that having more stuff, making more money, and being busier is the path to happiness is more and more outdated.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 [...]

Don’t Let ‘Em Say You’re Not Good Enough

There are some very disturbing assumptions underlying a lot of the charitable appeals each of us receives on a regular basis. "Get involved!", they say, "you can make a difference!" These kinds of campaign statements imply several very unsettling things: Before the campaigners came along, we were doing nothing, or at least; not enough. If [...]

Are You All Talk, or All Action?

So I went to this workshop on education and learned a new word: PRAXIS. If I understand right (and please let me know if I don't), it's the intersection between action and reflection, and it's where learning happens. If we spend all our time talking, thinking, and reviewing, we won't get anything done. On the [...]

Say No To Ambush Fundraising

While shopping for his wedding suit, my fiance got kicked out of a store because of fundraising. True story. One of the shops he went into was pushing a particular brand of suit, because a portion of sales go "to cancer". My fiance found this a bit obnoxious. His feeling is that he was there [...]

The Price of Rice in China

When I was a kid and argued with my dad, if I made an irrelevant point, he would shut me down with, "Sure, but what does that have to do with the price of rice in China?" Right now on my Facebook page, there's an ad for a bike ride against cancer. And I think [...]

Be Gentle With Yourself

You guys, I am tired! Currently, I'm planning my wedding and honeymoon, completing the final stages of my book, planning another event, polishing off the Edmonton Do Gooder blog series, and a few other projects besides. I knew this was coming, but I'm beginning to run out of steam. At times like this, I'm reminded [...]

What’s an Un-Savvy Do Gooder?

So, friends, if we're Savvy Do Gooders, what's the alternative? What's a regular do gooder? I know it's a cliche, but I'm going to the dictionary definition on this one, because it's bang-on. Dictionary.com defines the term "do gooder" as: "a well-intentioned but naive and often ineffectual social or political reformer." Oh, yes - that's [...]