Morality depends on cultural traditions, human values, and societal expectations that make up the world in which one develops. Therefore, what to give to support the poor is often a personal decision that depends on the intended intent of the act. The underlying dilemma that crosses one’s mind is how to consider what human life is worth and what sum of money might be equal to, if ever possible. This essay highlights what I should do to help people, considering Peter Singer’s “What Should a Billionaire Give—And What Should You?” as a series of instructions. In observing the fundamental ideologies posed by Singer in order to respond to what I should do to help others, I hold the opinion that it does not matter what I give, but it is rather the value made out of the offer I make to help that is important. For instance, Singer asked a fundamental question: “what is a human life worth?” and noted that approximately half a million children die from rotavirus caused by diarrhea. On the other hand, millions of children die of preventable diseases that could be prevented in the developing worlds. In this view, I understand that lives of the individual children, whether in the United States or the developing states, should be treated with equality, and that their lives matter. Therefore, I would offer any help that can lead to solving a problem at hand. It would not matter to me what I give but why I do it, what my purpose is, and how many lives will be saved.
The advancement in technology, which is the main driver for globalization, nonetheless affords people some social status. “In the same world in which more than a billion people live at a level of affluence never previously known, roughly a billion other people struggle to survive on the purchasing power equivalent of less than one U.S. dollar per day”, Stringer (2006) claimed. For example, philanthropists and billionaires such as Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have more than enough money to afford every desire with an exception of life itself. Therefore, it is with much honor to note that they understand that life is precious and that no amount of money can pay for it as a whim. As such, they have offered financial help to health institutions with the expectation of saving lives of those for whom life is the only thing that matters. Similarly, I may not be able to offer a financial help of their equivalence, but would give what is within my rich to make a difference, inspired by their deeds and motivation and Singer’s suggestion that people should give their “fair share.”
The decision to give and what to give, in my view, should not be an act of duty or obligation. Instead, I find it morally right to help others in need if I can, however little or much money it would be. In reference to Peter Singer that an act qualifies to be moral only when it is done out of a sense of duty, billionaires have no obligation to give the same way I do. Thus, a billionaire can help bridge the gap between the people based on what they feel can help. Compared to that, I would help in the situation that seems worth correcting — and possible to improve.
In conclusion, giving is independent of the social class but rather an act of moral attachment and compassion. What a billionaire should give and what I should in order to help others cannot be compared, since neither a billionaire nor I have any responsibility and obligation to give. Giving is a moral act that an individual identifies with to help others in a genuine and sincere way — from what they feel — and can never be measured as well as compared.
Singer, Peter. “What Should a Billionaire Give — and What Should You?” The New York Times Magazine, 17 Dec. 2006, www.nytimes.com/2006/12/17/magazine/17charity.t.html. Accessed 29 March 2017.