Doing something vs. doing more

Here’s another post from 2011, noting an internet phenomenon.  We were going to do a big post on it, but then XKCD summed it up beautifully in just a few panels.  Here’s what we had:

People who do something small sometimes get yelled at for not trying to reform an entire system.  This sucks.

In reality, we CAN make small changes, but grappling with a large change may not help people in this lifetime.  Some people focus on only the big needs, but we only have a limited amount of resources and doing something is generally better than doing nothing, so long as your cause isn’t something based on hate.

Cueball is going to spend $10 on a game and $10 on charity, Megan(?) says he should spend $20 on charity instead. Cueball decides to buy two games instead.

As a 2022 update:  One of the things that bugs me is that white men and Republicans often get passes for not doing anything at all, or for being actively harmful, while people who are trying but aren’t at the top positions of power get condemned for not doing enough.  I’d be happier with the “you’re not doing enough” if those same people would spend as much energy shaming the bad guys who are actually doing bad things, or who are doing nothing at all.  Let’s have more protests of individual evil Republicans, even though there are a lot of them.


5 Responses to “Doing something vs. doing more”

  1. delagar Says:

    My life motto!
    It’s better if I send $10 to the food bank than if I send nothing. It’s better if I write one page than if I write no pages. It’s better if I exercise 10 minutes than if I don’t exercise at all. Do what we can, and when we can do better, do better.

  2. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life Says:

    I have been guilty of being both the first and second person to myself when I buy things. I’m doing better at shushing them and separating my me-things and my activism-things. It’s hard to say out loud still but it IS ok for me to live my life too.

    I got condemned today by an anonymous commenter, calling me a racist, because I mentioned white Christian supremacy in my blog post. Apparently they say my bitterness is evident and that “any white man will do”. Well, that’s silly. It’s not just white MEN who are white supremacists. *eyeroll* No kidding my bitterness is evident, I meant it to be. But people are so invested in protecting white men from being held accountable for their actions and preserving the patriarchy, they want to point fingers at absolutely everyone else for everything else, no wonder it feels like we can’t get any traction some days.

  3. First Gen American Says:

    I think it depends on your personality. I’m not wired that way. If I’m in, I’m all in. Right now, I’m all out aside from school fundraising stuff.

    Why have one STEM table when you can take over a whole festival and have a science themed night with everyone from breweries to the hospital to paper companies doing experiments. Why buy one pack of diapers when I can organize a diaper drive and collect thousands of them. But then I burn out.

    I love shonda rhymes (sp) commencement speech about how when you are fulfilled in one area, you are neglecting another. It’s a constant spinning of plates.

    As my mom and kids have needed more of me, I have had to cut back on the activism as it’s not fair to dump it all on my spouse. I can at least give money. Can you hear the catholic guilt? I want to do more but now is not the time and I have to make peace with that.

    Almost everyone in my community has something they are passionate about. I don’t have to worry about the arts here as there are many passionate and rich benefactors for that segment of need.

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