Sunday, January 02, 2005

on stinginess and sweets

I share the resentment that other Americans feel about the "stingy" comment, which UN Undersecretary-General for Human Affairs Jan Egeland directed not only at the US, but at rich Western nations in general (see here for Egeland's clarifications).

However, if we have to choose one thought over another as the guiding thought for the day, I submit that "We can always do more" is a better thought to keep than "Don't tell me I'm stingy." Why?


He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them, "Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on."

--Mark 12:41-44, NRSV

A recent entry at Satan's Anus made a good point: "Charity is good, but commerce is better." We can help the tsunami-afflicted countries by buying their products (see here for more). If you've got a sweet tooth, you might want to give Sri Lankan jaggery cake a try. It's sugary, rich, and reminds me of gingerbread, even though it doesn't contain ginger. I could easily become addicted to the stuff. (Here's an entry on jaggery. To its shame, has no entries for jaggery cake.)


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