Letter to Chomsky

Dear Noam Chomsky,

Hi, my name is Jason and I'm a graduate of UC Santa Cruz. I've decided to write to you because I have recently seen a posting of one of your email responses to some random person and it made me think that you actually might respond to mine.

I want to say that you have been one of the largest influences in my life (including John Stuart Mill and Ralph Nader); I quote you constantly anytime I have a serious discussion.

I also want to say that I try to implement my beliefs, my philosophies into my life. I'm currently in China teaching English and I always try to implement independent thinking into my lessons. Sometimes I give my students censored material because I want them to question what they've been told. I'm surprised at the extent of the censorship here; it really angers me and I try to struggle against it. I guess it's my way of being an activist (I've always wanted to be one, but couldn't imagine myself marching outside and going head to head against police). I don't know how much difference it will make, but I will continue.

Anyways, I have been pondering a question for awhile and I think I've recently concluded on what I think, but I wanted to know your perspective.

I was on the subway yesterday and a homeless woman asked me for money and as usual, I ignored her. I ignore every homeless person who asks me for money and it has been bothering me for years. I'm a person who wants to “save the world” and I plan my life accordingly to how I want to do it. I dream about working with wind turbines and solar panels and I talk about it all the time with my friends. My goals are very ideal, but I feel as if all this “grand talk” means nothing if I don't help the people right in front of me.

Every reason that I have come up with to defend my act, I have concluded, seems to me more like an excuse. I tell myself that I should give them money and that I'll start doing it when I have a career, but it scares me to think that I'm just fooling myself.

What is the right thing to do?

This is really important to me.