Helping Those In Need

Gina - Colonial Heights, Virginia
Entered on February 27, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

Approximately 30,273 people starve to death every day. While many wealthy people curl up in their massive beds in their extravagant mansions, somewhere someone is freezing to death. Do you ever think while you are throwing away your leftovers from a meal that those scraps could be a feast for someone who is starving? Have you ever felt hunger? I don’t mean hunger from skipping breakfast. I mean hunger from not eating for days.

This I believe: that if every person who has the ability to help those less fortunate than themselves has the responsibility to do so. Or as the philosopher Peter Singer would say: “If it is in our power to prevent something bad from happening, without thereby sacrificing anything of comparable moral importance, we ought, morally, to do it.”

I first heard of Singer’s global village philosophy in my critical thinking class my first semester at college. The class was assigned to read Singer’s article “Famine, Affluence, and Morality”. Although there were many reading assignments in that class, this article and philosophy really stuck with me and changed my perspective on life. When I was picking a topic for this I believe, I knew that I wanted to write about this.

His philosophy of Global Village applies the idea of village life to the whole world. In a village all people help each other to survive and to function as a community. If everyone in the world would just help each other, it would be a better global community. He says that if you can help a person without harming yourself, or doing something morally wrong, you should do it. Or, if this good of helping a person outweighs the bad, then you should help them.

So, in conclusion, I ask you to put the amount of people suffering into perspective. Imagine all of the students and faculty at an average 20,000 population college being wiped out in one day. That’s almost the amount of people starving to death each day. Now imagine if everyone at JMU participated in donations. They could save so many lives. As Singer said “The decisions and actions of human beings can prevent this kind of suffering.” If everyone who could help did, no one could have to suffer in poverty. This is what I believe.