Its Not Okay to Let Kids Die

Millions of kids in poor countries die from things your child would live through because your child would receive basic medical care. You know you could–should–do something to stop these kids from dying. But you don’t.

Obviously you can’t drop everything in your life to save kids from dying. You have to pay the bills; you have to take care of your own children; you have other important causes to support. Anyways, their deaths aren’t your fault.

You still should do something, and you know it. It is not okay to ignore dying kids. It doesn’t matter whose kids they are, or where they live or how they are dying. If you can help you should.

Also supporting other worthy causes doesn’t make letting kids die okay. Your church needed a new building, and you helped. Your alma mater is raising a scholarship fund, and you want to help. Good, do it. But you still need to do your part to keep kids alive. Letting kids die because you support public television is also not okay.

You still need to help keep kids alive even if you are the only one of your family or friends acting. Also, yes, others should act: the richest 1000 people could permanently solve extreme poverty while staying very, very rich. Most rich people do not do much. That makes them bad people. They are letting kids die for selfish reasons and then they make up self-justifying arguments to show why it isn’t their job to help. Just like most of us.

Rich people will not donate enough, and you know perfectly well it is not okay to let kids die because rich people are greedy. And–I once used this excuse–it isn’t okay to let kids die because you would happily pay the taxes if the government spent more on humanitarian aid.

If you are like me you have a long list of things you should do that you don’t. Exercise more; be nicer to the family; don’t web surf when you should work; don’t stay up late playing video games; etc. We aren’t perfect.

Still we try. Most of us exercise some, even if less than ideal, we try to be good friends, we try to save some money, we try to be the best person we can be. So while you won’t donate everything except your car to help dying kids (the saint keeps the car so he can still go to work and earn even more money, which he then donates), you know that you can donate something.

Start small. Maybe a monthly donation of one dollar for every $100 your receive in your paycheck. Or, if that seems too much, start smaller: perhaps $20 or $10 a month. But donate something, and when you realize that you are comfortable with what you already donate, and happy that you are doing something every day to stop kids from dying, increase it.

I donate to Doctors Without Borders. They are the largest charity tightly focused on stopping unnecessary death and physical suffering. It is also an unusually transparent organization so I understand how the money is being spent in much more detail than with most large charities. There are other good organizations though. But if you don’t have a different organization you trust to stop kids from dying go to the Doctors Without Borkers website right now and set up a monthly donation. Or if you need to think about it make the decision today, and do it tomorrow. You know you should. You know it isn’t okay to let kids die. So act.

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