Many different people have many different views on what the responsibilities towards the community are and what that community is made up of. Literary authors such as Peter Singer often have different views on responsibilities when compared to other literary authors such as Anna Quindlen. Whilst Peter focuses more on giving anything that is not deemed “necessary” to the poor, Anna Quindlen focuses more on self-acceptance and betterment. Although those three points of views are arguably correct in some ways, a community should not be based on selfishness or selflessness.
A community is a group of people who are all striving for a similar goal: improving one’s self and the ties within the community. For the individuals within the community, improving one’s self is one of the best ways of helping their community out. Improving yourself does not mean perfecting yourself, but rather becoming the best version of you. You don’t have to conform to the ideals that society has established, but conform to what is best for you. That itself does not mean you are selfish or get to act selfishly.
As Anna Quindlen states, “The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself. ” (Quindlen, Commencement Speech). Quindlen is saying that you should begin the work of becoming your own self and that a good community begins with a good person. By doing this, individuals will be able to become more positive and that itself would create a warm atmosphere within the community. With the majority of the people striving to improve their character, their community would improve along with them.
Developing and improving the ties within the community is important as well. Mistakes and bad impressions are not unlikely, but people should fix or, at least, attempt to mend any bad relationships. People should strive for better relationships with those around them and that would help strengthen the bond within the community. Not only does it strengthen the bond but it actually creates the bond as well. With this, a stronger community is established. Some people focus more on the material aspects of life than the more emotional and mental aspects.
Peter Singer does not focus on individuality but rather on a more general and bigger picture. He believes that giving away things that people view as means of enjoyment will help save a dying or starving child. Additionally. Peter Singer discusses how any extra or “unnecessary” money should be donated straight away. With that belief, he continues to be extreme in his examples and points. Singer states that “Now that you have distinguished yourself morally from people who put their vintage cars ahead of a child’s life, how about treating yourself and your partner to dinner at your favorite restaurant?
But wait. The money you will spend at the restaurant could also help save the lives of children overseas! ” (Singer, Page 2) He is directly stating that you should not simply “waste” your money on the pleasures in life such as taking out your family to a restaurant. Instead of going to that restaurant and paying money, you should donate that money instead. He believes that you should not indulge yourself in more than what’s necessary for you. Peter Singer is pretty much stating that the community is the world and that you should always give to it.
Whilst those ideas are not wrong, his way of approaching them is extreme. People work hard every day to get their money, so it is their complete right to spend it on themselves. Yes, people should always try to help others but they shouldn’t forget about their needs whilst doing so. Humans should be able to indulge themselves in the pleasure of life, but with caution. They should not be greedy and selfish, but they should also not be entirely selfless either. If they have extra money, they should donate it but they don’t always have to donate every bit of extra money they have.
The definition of a community is not restricted to only one definition. There can be many different definitions for it. But instead of focusing on bigger and farther achievements, communities should instead focus on those around them. Whilst it is true that people are more selfish and that some of them do buy things that are unnecessary, that shouldn’t make them not buy things they want. It is obviously true that buying very expensive products and commodities in a large amount may be considered greedy and that there should be a limit.
But for people to not buy the newest iPhone or new shoes is taking it a bit too far. Some people don’t just buy expensive things only because they are expensive, but rather because it is upgraded or there are new features on it that will allow for them to adjust to their lives easily and comfortably. In general, people should donate what they don’t really need to those who are in dire need for them. But that does not include the fact that people should give up buying commodities such as clothes, accessories, cars, and phones.
That also does not include for them to excessively donate every single time they have a bit of extra money. People should be allowed to save their money, but not to the extent of selfishness. Sometimes, people save their money in case of emergencies or just improving their lives. By donating every single time they have extra money, they might not be able to achieve that. You should be able to pay expensive things as much as you’d like but also donate money too. If you have money to buy those commodities, you should be able to spare a some of it on the needy. Focusing on one’s self or community may be harmful.
Those actions can lead to carelessness that might affect their environment or those around them. If people in the community are all in a fine shape economically, then people should donate to those who need it. Additionally, if people focus too much on improving one’s self, they might forget about the fact that others need help as well. Every type of community has a flaw and none can be perfect. But that does not mean that people should give up on their community. As long their purposes and goals are the same, they will be able to achieve the best version of them.
In the end, communities should focus mostly on improvement and development by starting with the people and then, later on, expanding to a more broad community. Communities should resemble a family that is full of people with similar positive goals and good relationships. With everyone in the community helping each other out, they will most likely have a chance of giving more back to the world and those in need. By striving for similar purposes, communities should be able to stand together as a strong group of people who will help and support each other to become the best version of a community.