On the enthusiastic recommendation of a good friend, I’ve read the first two books of Lemony Snickett’s Series of Unfortunate Events and, while I found them amusing, didn’t see what all the fuss was about. After reading this excerpt from a New York Times piece (unfortunately no longer available without paying a fee), I’m not so sure I want to give any more money to Snickett:
Let�s start by saying I have a lot of money. I�ve acquired it by writing children�s books about terrible things happening to orphans, and this seems like such a crazy and possibly monstrous way of acquiring money that I give a lot of it away. I mean, I guess it�s a lot. Let me put it like this: My wife and I recently became obsessed with a Web site where you plug in the amount of money you made in a year and find out where you stand. If your salary equaled the amount of money my wife and I gave Planned Parenthood one year, you�d be in the richest 1 percent in the world, which is pretty great. Still, there would be 60 million people richer than you, and that�s a lot. They wouldn�t fit in your home, for example, even though you�d have the sort of home that only the top 1 percent of people in the world can afford.
Ten better ways for Mr and Mrs Snickett to spend their money:
- 10. Help out orphans, donate to orphanages or build orphanages.
9. Help mothers raise their children, give money to organizations that give women real choices and allow them to raise their children (who will eventually by his books) instead of killing them.
8. Support adoption agencies. Help couples who are seeking adoption.
7. Create scholarships for needy kids or deserving kids or even undeserving kids.
6. Buy books for children who don’t have books.
5. Support literacy programs, schools, other educational endeavors.
4. Feed hungry children. Clothe naked children. Give shelter to homeless children.
3. Build parks, schools, museums, zoos, libraries, hospitals, nursing homes, restaurants, bridges, or even apartment buildings.
2. Throw the money in a hole and bury it.
1. Or burn huge wads of it in a big money bonfire.
(story via Gerald at The Cafeteria is Closed