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Giving While the Middle Class Shrinks

“All you care about is money,” is the favorite phase of those relying on their own self-proclaimed nobility to crucify others for being interested in self-propagation. Dan Pallotta marvelously counters the sentiments behind this plebeian logic and argues wholeheartedly that success, not self-sacrifice, should be the cornerstone of philanthropy. And why shouldn’t it be? Are we so brainwashed by public opinion that we honestly think martyrdom is a better a solution than innovation? While the middle class shrinks, more of our neighbors need help than ever before, but protesting the top 1% and Wall Street is a reply that hasn’t given those who need it a single ounce of relief.


My mother, and probably yours, has mentioned you can’t help others unless you help yourself. After hearing Dan Pallotta’s words, I am more affirmed than ever that taking care of the world begins with taking care of yourself. Imagine if everyone did what was necessary to provide for themselves and their future financially. A portion of “those in need” would no longer be in need and their portion of philanthropic monies and energies could be re-distributed to those who are actually incapable of full independence. At the same time, that same portion of “those in need” would now have the time and money to give to the people around them.

Pallotta hits the mark when he explains that we shouldn’t be asking people to choose themselves or others, if we want others to be the winning choice. Instead, we should use the same paradigms that serve the self to serve the public. Perhaps, instead of fighting the top 1%, we should be fighting for ourselves by modeling them. Perhaps, helping our neighbor starts at home:

1) Provide for yourself and your family so others don’t have to
2) Provide for yourself and your future so you can spend a lifetime caring for others instead of yourself
3) Enjoy enough success to be able to give your time and money wildly to causes that are important to you

At the very least, as a society, we should realize that relying on hatred, envy, or cliche phrases that promote our own nobility while tearing down others that have done well for themselves, will never solve our personal problems or our large-scale social issues.

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