In general, I’m not a fan of moral outrage. It’s often self-congratulatory and highly ineffective, to name just two obvious flaws.
Nicholas Kristof is very good at asking questions that are supposed to provoke outrage, I guess. (Despite my dislike of this kind of outrage the previous sentence is meant as a compliment.)
In today’s Times he wrote once again about Congo: “But so far the brutal war here in eastern Congo has not only lasted longer than the Holocaust but also appears to have claimed more lives. A peer- reviewed study put the Congo war’s death toll at 5.4 million as of April 2007 and rising at 45,000 a month. That would leave the total today, after a dozen years, at 6.9 million.”
It’s interesting to research why we are so utterly uninterested in Congo as opposed to let’s say Haiti.
I guess even when it comes to empathy you have to make choices.
This is good to remember when you meet your next beggar.
You can tell him: “I’m so sorry, I would love to help, but I’m out of empathy for today.”