simonstucki

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The Drowning Child and the Expanding Circle

It is an old article, so maybe a lot has already been said in other places, but at least not here in the comments.

I think the analogy with the child in the pond is good to show people that it doesn't matter whether the child is here in front of us or somewhere across the globe, but it doesn't really help with the situation we are in. Because in reality there are an almost limitless number of children in huge swamps every day on our way to university and if we were to try to save only a few of them every day we would never ever get to university or be able do anything else at all and we would quickly drown ourselves (at least that's what it feels like for many people). So what do we do, we chose the different route to university not the one that goes trough the swamps but the one that goes trough lovely green meadows. Maybe some days we get up a bit earlier go trough the swamps save a child, maybe even two or three if we are effective...

But we feel no matter what we do, we are not doing much to solve the problem but because we are still involved we can't really forget what is happening and can't help to feel a sense of desperation which I think is obviously not making anyone happy.

But of course in reality it's not just you and all those drowning children, it's you and many many others that could help as well and it would motivate a lot if we could see each other. So maybe we just need to add a "social" in front of altruism. Of course it is easier said than done, but there are examples (teamtrees.org) comes to mind. And of course it also needs to be effective.