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New column with Patty Stonesifer on

January 22, 2009

Slate has a new column called “My Goodness,” where readers can write in and get advice from Patty and Sandy Stonesifer on doing good – philanthropy, volunteering, working in the public sector, etc.  There have only been two so far, but one column has been on a topic close to my heart – working in public interest after graduating from law school.  Check it out!  (And Go Hoosiers – Patty’s an IU grad…)

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Bill Strange permalink
    January 23, 2009 11:04 pm

    Your comments on whether to give cash to panhandlers did, I think, miss the point somewhat. The issues of human suffering are real and deserve our thoughts and actions. However, I believe we often become bewitched by our own language with regard to the problem. “Homeless” is a simple word that causes one to jump to many conclusions. In fact, those who are “homeless” doubtless have a range of differing problems that call for different solutions.

    I am of the opinion that giving cash to a panhandler really does only two things for sure: First, it defers the resolution of that persons problems and probably makes them worse. Second, it allows the giver to avoid some guilt and manage their own psychological needs.

    Your emphasis on the community resources of professionals who deal with peoples problems is the way to go. I encourage you to consider that handouts really make things worse in fact. Our intention in giving the handout cannot cover up or change the practical downside.

    Thanks for letting me share my thoughts with you.

    Bill Strange

  2. asridhar permalink*
    January 24, 2009 12:34 am

    I don’t think I know which post you’re talking about re: homeless people and panhandlers, Bill. But thank you for your comment!


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