23 March 2011

Quote of the Day: Felix Salmon

But while these are familiar concepts to my blog’s regular readers, they’re not necessarily familiar to people on the internet more generally. “There’s nothing you can do to help” is never a pleasant message to convey, and people tend to react strongly against it. On top of that, decades of fundraisers sending the message that “every penny helps” have clearly done their job — which is to conflate, in the public’s mind, the act of helping with the act of donating money, to the point at which a message of “don’t donate to Japan” is read as saying, in substance, “don’t help Japan.”
Writes Felix Salmon in re-visiting his post on donating to Japan.

I think this is an idea worth considering a bit more. There is certainly a benefit in the fact that campaigns have been so successful that people want to lend a hand when a disaster takes place. Better yet, I hope that it extends to everyday happenings (like someone falls on the sidewalk and people rush to help him/her up). However, does it go too far when help is declined and would-be helpers react with indignation? It is better than complete apathy, that is for sure, but like all other issues it seems that this could use a tad bit more balance (to reinforce this, it is definitely better for people to care too much than to not care at all, no doubt about it).