People on bridge Long Wei/ Xinhua via ZUMA Wire

إيثار مُفرِط

برينستون ــ قبل أكثر من أربعين عاما، في مقال بعنوان "المجاعة، والثراء، والأخلاق"، دعوت القراء إلى أن يتصور كل منهم نفسه وكأنه يمر ببركة ضحلة فيرى طفلاً صغيراً سقط فيها ويبدو أنه يشرف على الغرق. يمكنك بسهولة أن تنقذ الطِفل، ولكن هذا يعني إتلاف حذائك الجديد الباهظ الثمن. ألن يكون من الخطأ أن تتجاهل الطِفل وتستمر في طريقك؟

عندما أطلب من الحضور التصويت برفع أيديهم بشأن هذا السؤال، فإنهم يُجمِعون عادة على أنه من الخطأ إعطاء الأولوية للحذاء. ثم أشير إلى أننا بالتبرع لمؤسسة خيرية تسعى إلى حماية الأطفال في البلدان النامية من الملاريا أو الإسهال أو الحصبة أو نقص التغذية نستطيع جميعاً أن ننقذ حياة طِفل.

وهي حجة بسيطة، إلى أن ندرك أننا بإنقاذ طِفل واحد بالتبرع لمؤسسة خيرية فاعلة نحظى بالفرصة لإنقاذ آخر، وآخر، وآخر. فهل ينبغي لنا أن نتوقف عن الإنفاق على الكماليات حتى يتسنى لنا أن ننقذ حياة أخرى، فنستمر في العطاء إلى أن يجعلنا بذل المزيد من العطاء فقراء مثل أولئك الذين نساعدهم؟

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