As we in America sit down to eat our Thanksgiving Day feasts, let’s bear in mind just how fortunate we are, and how so many people in the world will go hungry today.
Let us also bear in mind that feeling guilty about our wealth does not in itself achieve anything (unless it inspires us to take action in a way that can be of service to others). So the point behind remaining mindful about our blessings is not to indulge in the false pride of overweening remorse, but rather simply to spur us to make choices mindfully with an eye to helping those who lack the advantages we enjoy.
And now, having said all that, here is a fun little website where you can participate in fairly intelligent trivia games, while supporting United Nations efforts to combat world hunger. The site is www.freerice.com and like so many other charity websites, your job is to keep loading the banners from the site’s sponsors, so that they in turn will keep paying the beneficiary — in this case, the UN’s World Food Program — for their advertising. And how do you keep the ad impressions going? By answering a variety of multiple choice questions that test your knowledge of vocabulary, grammar, mathematics, and even art history. By responding to both your correct and incorrect answers, the site will assess the strength of your vocabulary (or whatever topic you happen to be playing on) and thus continues to serve up questions that you are likely to find challenging. When you get a question wrong, not only does the site provide you with the correct answer, but it will serve up that same question again a few turns later, enabling you to get the question right the second time around (thereby reaffirming the new tidbit of knowledge you have just ingested). So it’s a great deal all the way around: it’s a fun website, it will teach you a thing or two, and using it will generate money to support the fight to end hunger.
Gotta love it.
And for all you American readers: happy thanksgiving!