The Line.

So Morgan and I were talking the other day about this and that and I mentioned in passing that if I were drinking thousand-dollar-a-glass wine, I should be doing more for charity.

Morgan, who, if he were a superhero, would be called Captain Moral Relativity, pointed out that there’s no limit for that kind of thinking. “What about your rent? You could move to White Rock and pay for the food, education, and medicine for a family in Africa with the difference,” he pointed out. “Or how much wine do you drink a week? You could stop drinking wine and feed a family in Guatemala.”

Okay, while those are extremes (to my mind, anyway. Terminal Sobriety in White Rock? I could also kill myself and donate myself to a sausage factory), it made me think.

“There’s no line,” Morgan said. “There’s no line in the sand.” And he’s right. There’s no set value for how much well-off folks do for those well off than them.

“We have to draw our own line,” I said. “It’s up to us. Individually.”

I would not move to White Rock for those Africans or Guatemalans. Not unless I’d met them. But I will give disposable income that’s not being used for rent or food or wine to charities that will help them. I will live without a car for the good of the planet, but I won’t sabotage other people’s cars. I will choose low-carbon-footprint options for food, but I won’t live without electricity if I can help it.

That makes me a little bit sad. Every year, my youthful idealism slips, just a little. I am afraid that one of these years I’m going to look down and see it on the floor, and not bother picking it up.

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