I have frequently witnessed wealthy donors ask what others might do differently to make the world a better place—how, for example, can we get poor mothers to cook healthier food for their kids or speak and read more to their babies? But rarely have I witnessed them consider what role they might play beyond their pocketbooks—how, for example, might rich parents be perpetuating inequality by paying high end SAT tutors for their teenagers?
…To be clear, I’m not calling for wealthy people to engage in self-flagellation. I’m calling for self-examination and potentially inconvenient behavior change, rooted not in guilt, but in a hunger for a better world. We need the kind of transparency that feels possible only when you care more about having an impact than you do about protecting your own reputation; when you care enough to be transformed by your work. We need radical humility and courageous, cross-class conversation. That would be a cultural shift worth investing in for all of us.
-Courtney E. Martin, “The Tricky Business of Cultural Change,” 10/02/2012