NewsBits: The Times

We recently came across two columns by Nicholas D. Kristof and a news story we thought you might be interested in. All three are from The New York Times.

The Sin in Doing Good Deeds

Here’s a question for the holiday season: If a businessman rakes in a hefty profit while doing good works, is that charity or greed? Do we applaud or hiss?

Bleeding heart tightwads

Of course, given the economic pinch these days, charity isn’t on the top of anyone’s agenda. Yet the financial ability to contribute to charity, and the willingness to do so, are strikingly unrelated. Amazingly, the working poor, who have the least resources, somehow manage to be more generous as a percentage of income than the middle class.

Starting Over, With a Second Career Goal of Changing Society

Harvard kicked off a small but ambitious experiment that it hopes will become a new “third stage” of university education. For the student-fellows in the program, most in their 50s and early 60s, the goal is a second-act career in a new stage of life.

They gathered at Harvard to begin the yearlong program intended to help them learn how to be successful social entrepreneurs or leaders of nonprofit organizations focused on social problems like poverty, health, education and the environment. Their interests include sickle cell anemia, women’s education in Africa, health care quality and water conservation.

The opportunity, the fellows say, is to pick up new knowledge, skills and professional relationships in a new realm.