Helping others is supposed to be self-motivated, to stem from a personal desire to do good. But, as long as people help each other, does it matter why? Personally, I am conflicted as to whether or not I feel obligated to help the helpless. I have never been forced or coerced by a separate party to do so, but I still feel that I am obligated to do whatever I can. I suppose I require it of myself, but I don’t believe that is exactly what Peter Singer meant during his talk. I think Singer was talking about people being obligated by society to work for the betterment of others.
I love to help other people, but I know that not everyone does, and no one should have to do things that they don’t want to. When it comes to helping those in need, the thought is just as important as the deed. In my opinion, if people do not want to help, they shouldn’t, no matter what their friends, family, or society says. If they don’t want to give their time, then whatever work they do will not be as good quality as someone who is truly passionate about what they are doing.
I have always volunteered as much as possible, and I can think of no reason I would not continue to do so. I can only encourage those around me to do the same, and respect their wishes if they refuse. My reason for helping those in need is the joy I receive from knowing that I have made a difference. That isn’t something that can be forced on anyone.