Tag: charity

Is There Magic In Giving To Charity?


This is a funny subject, mostly because I can’t really give you a scientific reason for what I’m about to say. Most of the time I try to write on subjects that have a lot of research backing them. But on the subject of giving and charity you are just going to have to trust me.

For today’s Book-of-the-Day I was reading, “Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think” by Peter H. Diamandis.

There is a lot here for you in this book so watch for more in the coming weeks.

But my mind wandered off topic and I started thinking about the consequences of a world full of more abundance than in any century in history.

There is less poverty and violence than ever before.

There is more wealth and opportunity than ever before.

Peter explains, “Right now a Masai warrior with a cell phone has better mobile phone capabilities than the president of the United States did twenty-five years ago.”

But we still get trapped in the fear-based, scarcity mindset.

I love this quote in the book: “It’s incredible… this moaning pessimism, this knee-jerk, things-are-going-downhill reaction from people living amid luxury and security that their ancestors would have died for. The tendency to see the emptiness of every glass is pervasive. It’s almost as if people cling to bad news like a comfort blanket.”

You and I have to rise out of the scarcity mindset.

Just take the subject of charity.

How much do you give as a percentage of your income?

The main reason most people give so little is that we are tricked by what Dr. David Buss calls, “our ancestral mind.” He means the mindset we inherited from our great-great grandparents and their great-great grandparents.

Thousands of years ago no one was big on charity because EVERYONE WAS NEAR STARVATION.

But the times have changed.

I am now sincerely convinced that if any person or nation becomes extremely generous to charity, they will soon reap a massive financial windfall.

My first lesson in this was when I was 6 years old. My mom asked if I wanted to give to the church donation basket. I remember holding that quarter and freaking out.

But I trusted her enough to experiment.

Back then $0.25 was a lot of money to me (I got a $10 allowance a month for doing the dishes every day so my gross annual income was $120, haha)…

When we got back home that Sunday afternoon, my uncle just happened to be there. He said to me, “Hey Tai, I have something I want to give you.” He went out to his car and brought back a big jar of quarters he said he had collected out of his pant pockets over the last year.

I counted it. It was $50.

I nearly fainted. It was the most money I had ever received.

Coincidence that it happened on the same day I gave to charity?

Maybe, maybe not…

That was the first time I had seen that when you give, somehow, someway, it comes back to you. Not just in the good feeling that altruism brings the human psyche but also literally in an abundant financial return.

I don’t care if you are religious or an atheist, you should try this more.

Push yourself to give money, even if you feel broke.

If you need suggestions, some of my favorite charities are:

1. Heifer Project
2. Kiva
3. Innocence Project

Interestingly, I was talking about this at my house with Adam Friedman who works for Heifer Project here in LA.

He said my gut feeling that charity pays off is something he has heard from the most wealthy donors he works with. The billionaires tell him the same type of stories of giving and getting even more back.

Now I dont think the purpose of giving to charity should be to get something back.

In fact in my experience, to have the ‘magic formula’ of charity work you have to follow three rules:

1. You have to give without hope of gain.
2. You should give without doing it to show off.
3. You have to give a little more than you are really comfortable giving.

That third point is the hardest one.

So before you go to sleep today, try this: Send some money to a charity.

But give a little more than you think is wise and prudent at the time.

And remember it doesn’t always pay off overnight. Sometimes it takes a while.

Keep the investor mentality.

Even if you don’t get money back directly, you will have peace of mind knowing that you are part of the solution to the world’s problems. Not one more ‘taker’ bringing the world down a notch.

giving to charity, charity, giving and charity, giving

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