Stephen King: Scaring You to Action

America's self-dubbed 'scary guy' offers his ideas for improving the world and ourselves.

helpmeinde

08/29/2003 11:28:56 PM

I like Steven King I have most of his books. All of us at one time or another has been selfish Number One comes first. But when you stare Death in the face it does change your whole outlook on life and things. I have been one of those people all for me none for no one else. But I never was happy. But a friend showed me how things could get better with change from. He won the lottery... Kept some did important things with some. But he said now I'm giving some. most of it actually. to those he thought was deserving.I said are you crazy??? He replyed>. You have to give to receive. Well i do some now now. I do feel much better.Because I finally realized I'm not the only one here on earth. That God made us all.

gil1

06/04/2003 10:51:57 AM

Tellthetruth- I think Mr King's article was talking about the Republican leadership's actions, not "America" Saying you don't like the Republican leadership's actions is not saying you don't love America. I love America. You can't just exchange the word America for Republican everytime someone disagrees with you. American Conservatives can be very good people; God love the balence that comes from Conservatives and Liberals helping each other. But the Republican Leadership is not Conservative, it's radical. And taking a $400 tax credit from the poor while giving $98,000 to the rich is not compassion.

octaviasmama

12/11/2002 04:38:15 AM

when you see the beggar on the street, if you feel moved to give, give. if not, keep it in your pocket, because the intention of your heart to share your largess with someone else is more valuable to your soul than your forced giving. some people worry about what the person will do with it. why should you care? your intention is more important than whether they will go out and do something illegal or immoral with it. that lies between them and the Mother/Father God. in the world of today, circumstances and happenstances only separate us from those who live in the streets. you may need the help of a stranger one day, it just may be the one you gave a dollar to one forgotten day.

kristejo

06/21/2001 01:37:28 PM

I was reading some of the commentary, and was struck by how many people think that Stephen King was advocating govenmental charity. I guess maybe in the one line where he says that people learn better with full bellies, but overall I took away the thought that each one of us on an individual basis needs to be more charitable, compassionate, etc.

pingjockey

06/15/2001 04:58:42 PM

In reading the address I was struck by its positive action note.Mr. King used a few buzzwords that get the political people(of whatever stripe) to grind their axes.I think the gist of Mr. King's address is lost in making it a rallying point (or derision point)in the political context.I have found that I do best when I get out of my self.When the world and everything in it revolves around me and my only guidance is "the committee inside my head" I am on a bad path.When I treat others with compassion and kindness I am in a much better place.The point is not to give for self-aggrandizement but just to help.Guilt is better than not giving at all but I feel best when I give totally free of any expectation.I loved the movie and book "Pay It Forward" and that child had grasped something many of us lose in the daily noise of life.Giving IS its own reward.So forget all the rationalizations, the ax grinding and the political strife. Go out and do one nice anonymous thing for someone daily.

tellthetruth

06/12/2001 12:16:58 PM

America IS a rich, powerful county, but there's no need to feel guilty about that. We are the most generous country in the world. Americans personally give lots of money and goods to charities of every description. The U.S. gives buckets of money to countries around the globe, money that Americans work hard for daily. Our economic success allows us to give so generously. If there are problems with the needy not getting what we give, it's not because it wasn't given. It's more likely that there's a kink in the supply chain, often caused by a situation in the receiving country. Also, King's anti-conservative political commentary is out of place and incorrect. Looking at the facts, to say conservatives lack compassion has become just a bad habit of liberals, and a ridiculous accusation. As for environmental policies, look where liberal policies have gotten California. Yeah, there's a worthy goal.

dstearns

06/12/2001 08:36:18 AM

Not sure why King is presumed not to have either deeply held or sincere beliefs. Seems apparent from his writings he has an complex and informed ethical system and, I think, a belief in transcendent God. Of course it's not all that clear specifically what his beliefs are, but that he has them seems to me to be without doubt. I'd also point out that, fair or not, conservatives have a reputation for being generous mostly among those who share their beliefs. Conservatives seem not to be inclusive. That may be untrue, but it appears to be true.

LisaWoodward

06/11/2001 02:16:49 PM

I have been a fan of Stephen King for quite some time and agree with most of his speech. However, I don't understand why he thinks the government should delegate giving to charities--I don't think it's that simple. Do you honestly think the government would give every cent alloted to the poor? Also, why do liberals think conservatives cannot or will not give? We are just like you--some of us give, some of us don't. I'm one of those "compassionate conservatives" and I will always gladly help people less fortunate than myself and I certainly don't need or want government intervention in order to do so.

Skiboo

06/11/2001 07:30:11 AM

I'm from South Africa, and we experience allot of starving children and hunger and A.I.D.S. here. As I was driving home from work the one day, I witnessed a man and his wife begging for some money. I find myself hoping that if I was in that situation, someone would be kind enough to give my husband and I something to help us out. I gave him everything I had in my purse. I hope someone could return the favour to me if I ever needed it.

justin143143

06/10/2001 06:27:14 PM

Wow! What an amazing message. Stephen clearly has a great understanding of Ecclesiastes - even if he doesn't know it. What I don't understand is why he cares? I agree that money is a passing commodity which is essentially worthless, and that our time here is very short. But so what? Unless you have a workable moral framework why should it matter that children are starving in Africa? Why care? If there is nothing beyond the purely physical, and this is all that is, then that starving child is only about $10 of raw chemicals arranged in a particular way isn't it?

justin143143

06/10/2001 06:26:57 PM

I'll come clean as being a Christian here, so I have obvious reason to care (and yes much of the Church is really rubbish at giving). Even if you are not a Christian, if you have any interest in this, it's worth reading Isaiah 58 (Isaiah is a book in the Bible). It talks about what God's really interested in (social action) and it's a really good bit for quoting at Christians that buy expensive cars. But the point remains - if this is all that is, hedonism is the only rational option, and we should ignore other people's suffering. Unless it is only to quash some ache inside ourselves for meaning and a feeling of being more than an unimportant flicker in astronomical time. Good hunting to anyone who is seeking ...

nataliejean

06/10/2001 03:13:19 PM

He is right,we all should be giving alot more than we do.I was brought up to help people in need because it comes back to you. It is true .you may need help too one day.

clementi1800

06/09/2001 08:25:44 PM

Jesus taught, "sell all that thou hast and give to the poor, and come and follow me," but that was an entreaty, never a decree, to which the listener could freely obey or not, such as was the case of the young rich man. Why do King and others who think similarly on this issue believe they have the right to take other people's money, to spend it however they choose? Why can't he do all that he can for his favorite charities, while *encouraging, imploring* others to do the same, as Jesus did, instead of advocating governmental force behind it? God loveth a cheerful giver, not a compelled one. I, too, am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Mr. King and others who think similarly would do well to study its welfare programs, which are based entirely on the voluntary sacrifice of the membership, who have taken the spirit of Jesus' invitation and put it into action. Mr. King's views on charity and taxation betray his fundamental disbelief in human goodness.

jhilgart

06/09/2001 03:25:14 PM

Mr. King makes an excellent point; it's a shame that his reminder is profound, given how rational it is. His comments about Bush are on the mark for this address. Although our taxes might not be perfectly spent (how could they ever be give human nature?) they are the highest forms of charity. We agree, as a society, to have a national vehicle for helping the naked entrants King describes get the best shot at being able to *help others themselves.*

ruthaltergott

06/09/2001 02:28:20 PM

Experiencing death wakes up the soul.You change your life and your eyes see everything very differently.I can identify with Mr. King, because I am a cancer survivor, and he knows what he is talking about. I refer to the expression that you never see a hearse pulling a U-Haul. But unfortunetly college grads don't have the wisdom that comes with age or experiencing a tragedy. Everyone must be personally touched in order to view the world as survivors do, otherwise the wisdom of someone like Mr. King's is lost. I recently saw an interview with him and realize now when I read his books and see his movies that I am viewing particles of his life. I can identify with his speech and it is wonderful. The grads should read it in 5 years to remind themselves how true his words are.

saseigel

06/09/2001 12:29:08 PM

While I completely understand Mr. King's position, I respectfully disagree regarding governmental charity. The government is the single worst conduit for charity. Layers of bureaucracy sap ever increasing amounts of money from the coffers. Politician's pet projects grab government funding for other-than-the-best uses. And thus, even in the freest and most democratic societies, the people's wishes for the use of their resources are blatantly ignored, disregarded and even disrespected. Furthermore, governments begins to rule the people rather than the people controlling their governments. If the people are truly good, they should be trusted to handle themselves and be generous accordingly. Taxing them to the point of poverty precludes generosity and frustrates everyone as they see their efforts squandered on pork–Democratic and Republican! Blessings!

nonbeck

06/09/2001 05:56:51 AM

Each and every person on the planet is blessed with one equality - 24 hours in a day. If you want to give-REALLY give - try giving of your time. How scary is that? Most folks would rather write a check to any charity, or hand out money, food, donate clothes, but how many of us are willing to give our TIME? We want someone else to teach someone else to fish but how about you? Are you willing to really give? To give your time? Don't say you don't have any. You have exactly the same amount as me. Like me, you didn't work hard to earn those hours. You don't have to pay taxes on time. Spending time with children, the elderly, the sick, the dying, the lonely or sad. Be a soccer coach. Read a children's book at the library. Pick up trash. Visit a nursing home. Stop to listen (really listen) to someone who needs an ear. When you give your time, you can make a bigger impact on others and yourself than just giving money.

Amanjiru

06/09/2001 04:56:43 AM

Mr. King has through his life experiences realized the emptiness of material attachment and the joy of unconditioned love, and wishes to share his understanding to the students using his literary talent.

althena

06/09/2001 01:19:03 AM

I also don't think the reason to give is guilt, but damn it, go ahead and give, even if it is in fact out of guilt. Whether it's out of guilt or love, the person receiving that free meal or those daycare vouchers will just be grateful. And I for one have fantasies of winning the lottery. What will I do with it? Set up scholarships, buy three homeless families housing complete with furniture and stocked with food. Give them therapy and whatever rehab they might possibly need. On some days I'll just go out on the street and hand out $200 or $300 to random people I see. It would be great.

ldei

06/09/2001 12:03:30 AM

Don't give me this bunk about passoniate conservatism being bad. When does giving only count when a liberal does it. In fact, liberalism is not based on giving, its based on stealing. Yes, thats right. Steal from others (tax, etc) and then give it to others. In my church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the church gives real money to the needy. Money given by the members. The individual in need is helped to find a job, or whatever is needed to cure the situation. Sometimes its not curable. So be it. No one takes money with them, and no one trusts a scorpion. Don't trust another liberal either. After all he's a liberal, you know he is liberal (can' tell the truth), and that makes him pretty darn scary.

hgybr

06/08/2001 10:56:50 PM

You're right--especially since most "charitable organizations" skim the top 90% off before anything gets to those in need. True charity is a human-to-human interaction.

bardolph

06/08/2001 09:52:18 PM

I can understand the benefits of giving, but giving simply out of guilt doesn't make much sense to me. I live comfortably, I enjoy many modern conveniences, and I've worked hard to get here. Should I feel bad, simply because someone else suffers more than me, and lives in greater poverty? Should I feel compelled to donate my money and belongings, simply because I have them, and others don't? This seems silly to me. My friends, family, and colleagues benefit greatly from my friendship, and to rob myself of my means is to rob all of them, too. If I feel I must feed the hungry, I would much rather buy groceries for a broke friend than from donating fifty bucks to some "feed the hungry" campaign. Why? because the former is specific, while the latter is generic. I tend to judge life by what is in front of me. Call me ignorant, but it makes my life much simpler.

burlives1

06/07/2001 02:01:38 AM

Stephen King lives in my hometown, and his nephew and I went to see Moulin Rouge the other day. That's all.

KWinters

06/07/2001 12:01:45 AM

Live in the moment. Stop. Breathe. Smile. Just be. Right now.

NadjaOfNewark

06/06/2001 01:57:24 PM

Indian country? That's where I ate commodity foods. It's the sad truth, ennit?

staffel

06/06/2001 01:42:36 PM

...and Aristotle? Grow a heart, OK, buddy?

staffel

06/06/2001 01:39:58 PM

Let's get over the fantasy that poor people got that way because they're grossly lazy or stupid; we use that excuse whenever we need a reason to yank away whichever social programs from them they have left. I was born in a small, prosperous, Western European nation where I was given free education and health care. It didn't dampen my competitive spirit. It didn't deplete my country to give others a hand, either. What do I believe? That demonizing others is lowbrow and short-sighted. That extreme philosophies which would have you accept that entire groups of people are stupid, lazy, dangerous, or undeserving of kindness or encouragement threaten YOUR feathered nest do only harm. That inclusion - however rocky the road - is the path, not exclusion. We already have a thriving prison industry in this country; no other Western democracy does. Why? Think: Most of the cell blocks are full of young men with no education, means, kindness, support, or inspiration.

stevejd

06/06/2001 01:19:35 PM

Teaching someone to fish. You should try to help him to be better at it than you are. And when he is you should learn from him, or her. Just a thought. (Sorry Vegans, maybe I should have used a different example. Planting apple trees. ;-))

Steveinuse

06/06/2001 09:50:31 AM

The quality of my life would improve if Stephen King would finish the "Gunslinger" series. C'mon Stephen, I understand you had that accident, but one book about every six years is a bit slow!

NadjaOfNewark

06/06/2001 01:30:32 AM

Me? I think we should teach people how to survive. First, we should offer room board and free tuition to students and then have them make annual payments to recover the costs after they leave school. Second, we need to clean up how women's contributions to a marriage are evaluated in divorce court. (Been there, done that, spent six months sleeping on other people's couches while my ex-husband went out and bought a new house.) Third, we need to require that paternity tests be done for all children receiving welfare. Even if their fathers can't fully support them, the dent in the pocket book might cause the man to use a condom next time. Fourth, we need to train welfare recipients for good paying jobs like plumber and welder instead of secretary and beautician.

rossaroni31

06/06/2001 12:56:28 AM

I don't believe in karma or 'universal law' so is seems to me that compassion for others is one choice among many. However, if we're talking about acting in self-interest, let me suggest the following; The global spread of disases like AIDS and T.B. can be clearly linked with a lack of resources (like medicine, education, social stability etc.). These diseases don't care about national borders. Revolutions spread as well, so does international terrorism; both of these linked with oppression and deprivation. The social disintigration that keeps me from feeling safe on my own street isn't a result of equally distributed prosperity. Some people are to blame for their circumstances, but regardless of that, their suffering can, and does affect me. Arguing about it seems pointless. I think that supporting equality, justice and opportunity, here and in other countries is simply a matter of the practical maintainance of world stability.

Ronin

06/05/2001 07:14:30 PM

aristotle, You're not an idiot, you're just amazingly ignorant. I pity you. Unless you get some wisdom, you will just keep collapsing inward into your own black little heart. Your problem is not debt, it's poverty of the spirit.

BHRobin

06/05/2001 06:51:57 PM

Um, Aristotle? That claim about people living in Liberia being better off than you...you're on a computer, and presumably you're indoors, and you have food to eat that powers your brain and your fingers to make thoughts and then type those thoughts onto Beliefnet. TRUST me, Aristotle, I can guarantee you that millions of Liberians would trade right now your situation for theirs. Even with your 200,000 debt. I think you confused 'being in debt' with 'being in poverty'.

aristotle

06/05/2001 06:10:01 PM

"Live simply so others can simply live"? What a load of bull. We have resources on this planet (and in the neighborhood, like the moon, astroids, etc.) to support an exponentially larger population. Yeah, some people are born into rough circumstances, but as SK says, we're all born broke. If after multiple generations people can't get it together, then they're just plain lazy or stupid or both. Anyone who puts in a little effort can manage to produce more than simple subsistence. America does well because we're motivated by self-interest. We don't take more than we produce, we just produce different stuff than we import. We don't rape 75% of the world of it's resources without equal trade. I'm going to live as grandly as I can since, as SK puts it, we all die broke. Make the most of your life, it's the only one you get.

aristotle

06/05/2001 06:04:14 PM

People in Liberia are better off than I am because they at least have zero money. That's $200,000 more than I've got... how about they donate something to me? They've got tons of land, worth only pennies per acre, whereas around here you've got to pay a quarter million for a plot of land you can spit across. Isn't Liberia home of the American Mint which you see selling coins on infomercials? Africa has gold, diamonds, rain forests, etc. They had a head start on the rest of the world by centuries. It's their own fault if they are not the dominant military-industrial-economic power on the planet. They are over-populated for their means, and they still trade in slaves. Ever think it's the people?

bunsinspace

06/05/2001 05:19:36 PM

Wow! What an insight into King. Not being a fan of carnography, I never even considered reading one of his works. Now, hearing his own words, I am interested. Good job BN!

yonagvsgi

06/05/2001 03:57:15 PM

Sorry for the multiple posting, my comp. kept not showing that it posted, then all of a sudden they all popped up. OH, commodities are alive & "well" in Indian Country. As a "Commodity Kid" who's better off now, I have to say, Nadja, you aren't the only one who's eaten "Canned whole chicken" or Commodity Cheese whose on Bnet.

catch22

06/05/2001 03:55:42 PM

Part of the sentiment that I got out of this article was about living a life to be proud of and that doesn't mean having the nicest material possessions on the block. Taking only what we need leaves enough for others. Resources and money are limited, if I'm taking more than I need so I can have a mansion with empty rooms or an $50,000+ car, then others will not have enough. Helping my fellow man is not just about giving, in my mind, it is about living simply so that others may simply live.

yonagvsgi

06/05/2001 03:51:53 PM

Hi all, Nadjaofnewark, this is yours:"We've had decades of the welfare state...It is far better to teach people skills & have them become productive". Tell that to all my friend who was a stay at home Mom,married right out of High School caring for the kids, Hubby divorces her (He has a job so get's a Lawyer who freezes her access to assets), she has to get Legal Aid. He got everything - house, furniture, kids beds etc., she got the kids. So she ends up on State aid. Now they have it where if you want to get ahead & go to College (even on Grants) they cut you off from ALL aid. No foodstamps, child care etc. Also, as it was, she was only allowed to get aid for a certain amount of time, she saw the list of "Jobs" that they have to do the "From Welfare to Work" bit. ALL minimum wage. So where is all of this "training" & "education" that was supposed to go with Welfare reform?

carlbigmack64

06/05/2001 03:30:26 PM

Yes I know TigerMother was commenting on a previous post by a different 'Aristotle'

carlbigmack64

06/05/2001 03:29:47 PM

The real Aristotle's theory on drama indicated that learning a lesson from fiction was a good thing, and if the character was noble and failed because of a clearly shown tragic flaw, that was the best kind of real tragic story, psychologically, ethically, AND aesthetically. With comedy, which starts out with bumbling characters, the psychological component is that everything turns out alright anyway in the end -- perhaps because of chance, but preferably because of some ramifications of interweaving story-lines, or because of noble actions that pay off inspite of ridiculous odds. Most horror can be seen as 'comedy' in this sense, rather than tragedy.

TigerMother

06/05/2001 01:44:06 PM

Aristotle's line of "thinking" reminds me of a story that impacted me greatly. It was decided to supply a grain to the world that would kill a certain percentage of people. While the committee finalized this action they were served lunch. The hapless inventor of the grain then told them that the bread had been made with the wheat in question and some of them would die. A fitting lesson. It saddens me that some people are so lacking in charity. I've heard the old adage that charity begins there time and again. But I think charity begins where you are and if you see a need you should address it -- I think perhaps we are sent those we are most able to help and those who are best able to help us. Aristotle, I pity you and those who likewise are so blind to the realities around them. I have a doctorate but I learned -- and you are a shining example of this truth -- that wisdom does not come out of a textbook, it comes out of opening your heart. TigerMother

Ronin

06/05/2001 01:32:02 PM

I'm sorry I called you an idiot, aristotle. I'm an idiot. I'm sorry. But I stand by everything else I said.

Datura1207

06/05/2001 01:30:16 PM

Aristotle, "As for the rest of the world, nobody owes them anything. If they can't learn to fish, and can't get anyone to teach them, then they should starve." First of all, we don't have to go out of this country or even our own towns to find poverty. Second, too bad someone taught you to fish, it would have been better taught to someone else.

slkrr

06/05/2001 12:39:12 PM

In fact, the United States does not use its resources more effectively. We are the most wasteful nation on the earth. And the resources we use are not only from our "own soil," but are taken from countries all over the world. Even our "own soil" is not our own, bit was taken from the American Indians. Unfortunately, aristotle's attitude is all too common among Americans who care little about the rest of the world, and care even less about finding out the truth of the United States' energy use and economic exploitation. C'est la vie.

Ronin

06/05/2001 12:34:59 PM

aristotle, You are a selfish idiot. That is why you are broke. YOU didn't earn anything -- it came from others. Every bite of food you've had has been handled by dozens, if not 100s of people, unless you picked fruit yourself. But then, someone planted that. Someone else didn't cut it down. They were just doing their job you say? Don't you think they'd rather be doing something else? They got paid, you say? I'll get to the point: Human kindness is what makes our lives possible. Get used to it. Oh, too broke to help anyone? You want to see broke, go out to an Indian rez. You have it so good, you just don't know. That's worse than being poor -- being rich and not knowing it. Our minds, our eyes, our skin. . .it's all a waste if we don't help others. What other point is there to this stupid, short life? As long as we cherish ourselves at the cost of others, we're a waste of meat. Better to be ground-up to feed those fish. Oh, and the 5%/75% thing? It's true. Look it up.

bookbiz2

06/05/2001 12:34:23 PM

Aristotle, King's message is not about anybody "owing" anything to anyone. It is about giving and compassion. Sometimes we all have to take, but sometimes we can give a little.

plasticapsule

06/05/2001 12:25:42 PM

we don't just use the resources we have on our own soil. we, by a long shot, import more natural non-renewable resources into our country than the rest of the world. the only things we give back in such abundance are pollution and a shining example of how greed and power corrupt. this nation needs to be humbled. we are all only human. if aristotle were born in africa he might not feel quite as selfish.

stevejd

06/05/2001 12:14:59 PM

I think that in helping people we need to respect them as fellow human beings not just as objects to help us feel better.

aristotle

06/05/2001 11:53:03 AM

Furthermore, the United States does not use 75% of the world's resources. We use the resources we have on our soil, but we use it much more effectively. The rest of the world has the same resources, but they simply fail to utilize them.

aristotle

06/05/2001 11:47:55 AM

Why should someone still learning to fish or just doing so for the first time (college graduates) immediately care about providing for everyone else? Personally, I'm still trying to achieve my own financial independence, as are most people in this country. Until I've got a surplus (strike that, until I've paid off my debts), I can't afford to give to anyone. Maybe when I have as much money as Stephen King, I can take that advice. As for the rest of the world, nobody owes them anything. If they can't learn to fish, and can't get anyone to teach them, then they should starve. I don't know what their priorities are, but they ought to be learning to provide for themselves and start having less children.

nhunter

06/05/2001 11:02:33 AM

Teach a man to fish and he'll eat...until the fish run out...or become too toxic to eat.

sagenav

06/05/2001 11:00:50 AM

It only undermined the King's statement if you cared about the political comment. Personally, I'm indifferent about Bush. He's a typical politician, which is disappointing. What is also disappointing to me is that he got elected under the guise of a moderate republican and since elected has catered to the far right. But in a sense you are right, politics shouldn't have anything to do with King's argument. I think the most disturbing part is the stat: U.S. makes up %5 of worlds population and uses up %75 of it's resources. Knowing that i'm part of that problem makes me ill.

Oversoul

06/05/2001 10:55:52 AM

“My own philosophy--partly formed as a young college graduate without a job, waiting in a line to get donated commodities for the kids--is by all means give a man a pole and teach him to fish, but people learn better with full bellies. Why not give him a fish to get started?” Finally, somebody gets it. This is the point I’ve been trying to make on the “we the people” board under US Politics. Giving him the fish alone doesn’t solve the problem. Giving him the fishing pole alone doesn’t solve the problem. Giving him both solves the problem.

Datura1207

06/05/2001 10:50:23 AM

I think some people in this chat (I won't name names) are missing the point of King's message. He's not simply talking about giving a handout. He's more talking about redirecting our focus. Instead of worrying so much about the money in our wallets, we should strive to make ourselves rich in love, sharing and community by aiding our fellow man. Remember, Jesus told us that God takes care of birds and flowers, and not to worry that material things will be provided. Faith in God and Faith in Love is what we all need.

PolishCelt

06/05/2001 10:43:52 AM

Well that is mighty sad that you think he undermined his speech. Meanwhile, many of us cannot and will not accept that scum in the White House as our president. I hope George W. Bush finds himself urinating himself and sitting in his own feces, just like his hero, Ronald Reagan, death squad cheerleader and all around idiot.

comcon

06/05/2001 10:32:52 AM

I (partly) agree with Nadja of Newark in this sense: his argument would have carried much more weigh as a moral argument if he didn't put in his attacks on the current administration. The political potshot undermined King's moral argument which i thought was right on and well stated

TigerMother

06/05/2001 10:02:36 AM

NadjaOfNewark suggests that those avocating aid to the poor (to help them learn to fish or feed them while they are learning) are only those who have no contact with "the poor." I have worked for non-profits for years, as a lay missionary, doing case work, working in soup kitchens, homeless shelters, etc. Most of those I know in the field advocate aid to the poor. Those who say otherwise are either lying or uninformed. I've been on food stamps; I've been homeless. Later I worked my way through graduate school. I don't feel the aid that was there -- from government and religious organizations -- hurt me or kept me from striving to live out my potential. King advocates living a life of service (not establishing more social programs). I see nothing whatsoever wrong with that. If others do I suggest perhaps his "scary" truths are too much for them to face for we all die and what we leave behind that has lasting value is the love we give and the things we share. TigerMother

leeala

06/05/2001 07:16:10 AM

This speech sounds a lot like the book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible. Find out.

NadjaOfNewark

06/05/2001 03:06:33 AM

BTW, I suspect I may be about the only person here who grew up in a household where we thought "Not for resale" was a brand name. (Before food stamps there were commodity foods - and each and every item was labelled "not for resale.")

NadjaOfNewark

06/05/2001 03:04:39 AM

I don't know *what* Mr. King is advocating other than welfare when he snidely states that "We've elected an administration {attack on electoral college omitted} that takes a dim view on charity as a national policy." Yes, there is terrible suffering here and abroad. But the solution isn't in giving out free cheese, but in training people and finding jobs for them. I'd really like to know how many of you "fortunate" folks have remembered the less fortunate lately. My experience has been the more people demand that government deal with the less fortunate, the less likely that they personally do anything to solve the problem. So far government programs have only exacerbated the poverty in the US, and our interventions overseas have not exactly benefited most of the locals there. The sentiment would be so much finer if it suggested that we actually get around to solving the problem instead of requesting more of the same old, terribly failed social programs.

lokapriya22

06/05/2001 02:00:17 AM

Well, America contains 5% of the world's population and uses up 75% ..... the greatest is undoubtedly the power of compassion, the ability to give...And standing around that fence, looking in, are emaciated men and women, starving children. They only watch. With such passages America needs a close introspection. Are they ready for it? A legitimate fundamental tool, questioning and knowing . Do we get answers? Compassion love togetherness a comity of being one, we homo-sapiens are capable wondrous stuff. We can make it a coming together of the world will happen and very soon. His pen is a powerful sword. If you are scared of truth clarity and revelations too bad. King is not frightening at all...come to grips with what IS.

BernieCullen

06/05/2001 01:41:44 AM

Stephen King speaks the truth. The fortunate cannot forget the less fortunate. I don't see how anyone can twist what Mr. King said to make it appear he is advocating welfare. That is a less-than-honest tactic used by those who would wish us to believe that any attempt to help our fellow man is not worth the effort. Mr. King's favorite charity - The American Cancer Society - is listed in the article. Where does this have anything to do with welfare? All of us have general obligations to society. And if someone disagrees with that, they should state it outright rather than crying 'Welfare!'

becky21

06/05/2001 01:27:45 AM

I believe Stephen has his morals straight and I wholeheartedly agree. I couldn't have put it into words better than Mr. King. I can tell by reading his novels that he has a good heart and isn't a "scary guy" after all.

birch

06/04/2001 09:18:56 PM

I really don't see anyplace where Mr. King advocates welfare. He seems to be advising the graduates of an elite private college that they need to think not only of themselves but of humanity. He realized during a near-death experience that he needed to do more for underprivileged people (kind of like Scrooge did in "A Christmas Carol"), and I don't see anything wrong with that.

purpleku69

06/04/2001 09:16:37 PM

If Mr. King "confuses his politics with spirituality," what about Republicans who believe that their politics IS spirituality, the spirituality of greedy self-interest? Who is the more noble, the one who throws money at a problem, or the one who, having been "in the problem," works himself out of poverty, and then shows others the way, also?

NadjaOfNewark

06/04/2001 09:01:46 PM

Oh, yeah. I also gave of my time in direct working contact with those who were in need. I've taught literacy skills, and a dozen other things that many urban and rural poor people need far more than they need a life time on welfare.

NadjaOfNewark

06/04/2001 08:59:43 PM

Mr. King confuses his politics with spirituality. I do not come to beliefnet to be ragged upon by popular culture figures whose understanding of economics and social policy is somewhat lacking. We've had decades of the welfare state, illegitimate children, and handouts to all who wish them. It is far better to teach people skills and have them become productive rather than raising children in an environment of defeatism. I am a compassionate conservative, and I suspect that for many years I gave a far greater percentage of my income to charitable causes then Mr. King does. And the causes I give to are to benefit those truly in need, not the middle classes.

Naia68

06/04/2001 07:33:43 PM

These are brilliant words by Stephen King. He is speaking the truth here. We need more people like him who aren't afraid to speak the truth. Here's hoping that the rest of us will pay attention!

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