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When government leaves them alone, people are decent & charitable

June 23, 2012
  • In Arizona, a summer camp for disabled children runs out of money and may be forced to cancel a long-planned session for deaf and hearing impaired kids that would cost $16,000.  A newspaper mentions it.  People start donating money and passing the word to their friends.   In a few days, $86,000 is raised.
  • In New York, Karen Klein, a 68-year-old school bus monitor, is driven to tears by cruel insults from a group of middle school boys.  A video of the bullying appears on YouTube.  Within a few days over 600,000 people view it and are outraged.  The bullies are publicly condemned.  A young Canadian starts a fund drive online, hoping to raise $5,000 for a nice vacation for Ms. Klein.  Within days, 24,000 good-hearted individuals have donated more than $520,000.

What’s the lesson?

Most people are decent, well-intentioned and charitable.  They rise to the occasion when their neighbors — or even complete strangers — are in need of help.

They don’t need government to do this for them, and it’s much more meaningful when individuals can do it from their hearts, of their own free will.

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