(Questions for the elementary students will be taken from the bold sentences. Secondary questions come from the passage as a whole.)
by Ashley Wright
The renowned English philosopher Bertrand Russell once said “the best practical advice I can give to the present generation is to practice the virtue which the Christians call love.” As Christians many of us deeply desire to love those around us, but sometimes it can be hard to determine if our actions actually are loving. We may love our friends, but we cannot help them to cheat on their exams. Our parents love us and so they discipline us when we are young. Sometimes what seems loving, like helping a friend cheat, isn’t and what doesn’t seem loving, like a parent disciplining a child, is.
This same paradox applies to giving aid as well. (It’s sparked a field of study called development economics.) Sometimes we do projects in other countries that we think will be helpful, but we actually end up hurting those who live there. For this reason, we have to be especially careful when we try to help developing countries. To quote another Englishman, former prime minister Benjamin Disraeli, “the greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own.” We want to do what helps the third world and to enable those who live there to use their gifts- their enthusiasm, their intelligence, their creativity- to help their country because often they know better than we do what would actually be helpful.