Monday, December 13

Novel concepts

There is an article in the BBC news today about a chap who is donating 1/3 of his income to charity.  What makes this of interest and worth talking about here is that he is not a multi-gazillionare like Warren Buffet or Bill Gates.  Toby Ord is a married academician who makes about $30,000/year.  He calculates that he will have given over $1.5million to charity over his lifetime.

He recognizes that his contribution share is more than most folks would be willing to do at the beginning.  So, he recommends, try a small amount, say 10% of your takehome.  By doing that, you will help others without a substantive impact to your overall ledger.

There are two things which make this work.  The first is figuring out how much it actually costs you to functionally live.  Moving out of your 4br home to a luxurious cardboard box is no more functionally living than having a 4br home for you and the missus. 

Just as important, he says, is to not buy things.  I realise that may sound horridly simplistic, but it's the truth of it.  Every time you see something in the shops, ask yourself "Do I need this more than a boy in Kenya needs a malaria net/girl in Brazil needs a TB shot/homeless person needs a hot meal tonight."  For the non-catholics among us who wish a less guilt-ridden approach, try this on for size. "Let me do without this for a week.  If I still must have it then, then I'll get it then."

Now, why on earth am I speaking about munnahz here on this blog?  Because he's suggesting a set of horridly radical notions.  To recognize one's means, be content to live within them and to freely give to others who are less fortunate than you asking nothing in return.  He's suggesting that people tithe, giving the funds directly to charitable organizations.

"There is no greater curse than wanting more than enough. There is no greater sin than greed. He who knows when enough is enough always has enough." - Tao Te Ching, 46

"For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, in their eagerness to get rich, have wandered away from the faith and caused themselves a lot of pain." I Tim. 6:10

In short, what Mr. Ord is recommending is a practical application of the spiritual which we have been raised to believe but, all to frequently, we fail in practice.

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