Books by Usha Alexander

  • A lone woman travels fearlessly into the jungle to confront the enemy. She holds the fate of an entire world in her hands.

  • When Craig Olsen returns to Idaho to say goodbye to his dying uncle, who raised him, he comes face to face with matters he can no longer evade.

  • "A suspenseful narrative weaves the stories and secrets of two generations into one seamless drama ... a worthy literary journey." —Kirkus Discoveries

Namit Arora's Photography

Selected Videos

StatCounter

  • StatCounter

« Youth | Main | Five Chinese Classics »

June 20, 2007

Comments

Ms. Roy is right -- the impact of one's charity is frequently unpredictable. But after reading this, a comic thought crossed my mind: any number of tightwads would now derive solace from her words ("giving money away is dangerous and complicated"). Yeah, it's against my political beliefs too! That's why I refuse to write checks to them educate-the-children and feed-the-abandoned-old-widows schemes! :-)

This is only an interview and she no doubt expresses only a fraction of her thoughts on this topic -- writing is a far better vehicle for such ideas. Still, she is quite candid and direct about her feelings on an inherently complex topic. But I thought there is more to it. It made me wonder: how would I respond to the same topic? Here is an attempt.

I'd begin by saying much of what she says. But I would say more (I expect some of this applies to Ms. Roy too). The reluctance to give more is not just due to external factors. The reluctance is also internal. I'm afraid of losing the security and comfort and the distance and leisure and the power and opportunity that money creates for me. I'm afraid of getting too embroiled with others and their demands on my time (esp. when the giving is not anonymous). And besides, truth be told, my concern for strangers has its limits (shocking!). Further, my fear keeps enlarging my idea of a "reasonable safety net" as I grow older. I have even learned to rationalize this as part of a normal self-preservation instinct in today's world and I find it hard to snap out of it. Not pretty, but there it is...

I did find odd her put down of inherited money. Is earned money more deserving? Does it not depend on random, lucky, time-and-place factors? I'm quite aware of this in the world of Silicon Valley stock options and dubious "new economy" skills that pay absurd amounts. There is often no higher justice in money distribution, even the earned kind -- that's simply how it is (surely Ms. Roy would agree). Inherited money is just another lucky break one gets, like a lucky prize. Why single it out as a curse?

There goes another socialist hypocrite. Every effing human likes money, and this chick is exception. It's not that she doesn't want to give away money for the fear of destruction it causes but it's because she loves money too much, way too much. It's funny how all these commies come up with creative ways of fending the question of "giving" when it comes to them. And what an irony, most of these commie windbags tend to be way above average in income levels.

What a joke this piece of crap is...

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Primary Editors

New Book by Namit Arora

  • The Lottery of Birth reveals Namit Arora to be one of our finest critics. In a raucous public sphere marked by blame and recrimination, these essays announce a bracing sensibility, as compassionate as it is curious, intelligent and nuanced.” —Pankaj Mishra

Shunya Website

Namit wins 3QD Arts & Literature Prize 2011

Namit Arora's India Photo Archive