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Old 02-07-2008, 01:59 PM   #21
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Then Susan Buffett died and he had to re-do his estate planning. And somewhere along the process he noticed that Melinda Gates was doing a pretty good job with her foundation.
My charity is very direct. When the spirit moves me I buy a few blankets and distribute them to street people.

I have several criteria for charitable acts. They should please me, they shouldn't cost very much, and they should not involve empowering some busy-body. I also prefer that they be local.

A meta concern is that they not worsen over-population in 3rd world countries, which is generally covered by "local".

Ha
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Old 02-07-2008, 07:32 PM   #22
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since you can not give what you do not have, when is giving not of abundance?

When the person giving does not have enough for themselves but chooses
to sacrifice so that the other person can have something too.
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Old 02-07-2008, 07:43 PM   #23
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I like to pick one local charity and give to it . Ha ,The idea of the blankets is nice but in florida I guess I'd have to buy sunscreen and give that instead . What amazes me is how many more homeless people there are in colder climates . You are homeless wouldn't it be easier to sleep outside in Florida than Washington DC.
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Old 02-07-2008, 10:29 PM   #24
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When the person giving does not have enough for themselves but chooses to sacrifice so that the other person can have something too.
as lovely as that sounds, what some see as self-sacrifice others call self-righteous.

abundance is a relative term. anyone who gives to another person some of what they have either has enough to share (whether or not you perceive that as an abundance worthy of your coffers, it is apparently abundant enough for them) or they didn't need it in the first place (it was just taking up otherwise needed space) or--when there is no plenty at all--they choose death, the ultimate in self-sacrifice. i have only so much air, but my neighbor needs air and has none, so i will give my neighbor my air to breathe that he might live and i might die.

have there been many sacrifices for nothing offered up to the gods, or is the history of sacrifice more a matter of deal-making? i offer up to you the life of this virgin if you will just send down my people some rain. i sacrifice my life for god that i might one day be rewarded with heaven. so much for the sacrosanctity of sacrifice, the transactions practiced by merchants of morality.

where is the sacrifice which is not self-serving? would you have felt better to have kept your air and left your neighbor to suffocation? or did you do without to relieve your own empathic suffering so great as to be remedied only by your own death?

is it a bit judgmental to presume first that your charity is selfless while another's is self-serving and then to assume authority to absolve what you see as another person's moral decay with "it is better than giving nothing." i would examine what motivates my own tithing before passing such judgment on others.
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Old 02-07-2008, 11:15 PM   #25
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is it a bit judgmental to presume first that your charity is selfless while another's is self-serving ...
Read my post again, I was speaking of myself not the poster.
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Old 02-08-2008, 12:10 AM   #26
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thanx but don't have to read again. i am aware that you qualified your statement by saying you were speaking for yourself. but that does not shield you from having expressed opinion on how you view the world and so the sentiment of my statement still applies.
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Old 02-08-2008, 11:58 AM   #27
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as lovely as that sounds, what some see as self-sacrifice others call self-righteous.

abundance is a relative term. anyone who gives to another person some of what they have either has enough to share (whether or not you perceive that as an abundance worthy of your coffers, it is apparently abundant enough for them) or they didn't need it in the first place (it was just taking up otherwise needed space) or--when there is no plenty at all--they choose death, the ultimate in self-sacrifice. i have only so much air, but my neighbor needs air and has none, so i will give my neighbor my air to breathe that he might live and i might die.

have there been many sacrifices for nothing offered up to the gods, or is the history of sacrifice more a matter of deal-making? i offer up to you the life of this virgin if you will just send down my people some rain. i sacrifice my life for god that i might one day be rewarded with heaven. so much for the sacrosanctity of sacrifice, the transactions practiced by merchants of morality.

where is the sacrifice which is not self-serving? would you have felt better to have kept your air and left your neighbor to suffocation? or did you do without to relieve your own empathic suffering so great as to be remedied only by your own death?

is it a bit judgmental to presume first that your charity is selfless while another's is self-serving and then to assume authority to absolve what you see as another person's moral decay with "it is better than giving nothing." i would examine what motivates my own tithing before passing such judgment on others.
I have always known this to be true but I was never able to express it so clearly or succinctly. Thank you.
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Old 02-08-2008, 07:39 PM   #28
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thanx but don't have to read again. i am aware that you qualified your statement by saying you were speaking for yourself. but that does not shield you from having expressed opinion on how you view the world and so the sentiment of my statement still applies.
Sorry, I should have given more information.
I didn't want to judge the poster so I applied it to myself.
In my situation if defer charity for 30 years , some of the charities I am currently supporting that feed hungry children will go hungry and possibly die. If if defer that charity until I die so I can have a bigger nest egg that
I can fall back on if needed seems self serving in my opinion. So in my case its bad to defer. If you are not currently giving to any urgent need charities then the proposal would be positive.
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Old 02-08-2008, 10:21 PM   #29
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There have been some interesting points put forward. When I first read LG4NB presentation of the facts, I was a bit annoyed, I was quite peeved that he would label charitable giving as being selfish. However, on reflection, I do agree to a certain extent that he is right. My favourite past time at the moment is managing my portfolio on Kiva. I know these are only loans, but thinking about it, I realise maybe I do make these loans because I get enjoyment out of it. However I think of this as being a bonus as my true aim is trying to help someone I don't know get a leg up in life.

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some of the charities I am currently supporting that feed hungry children will go hungry and possibly die. If if defer that charity until I die so I can have a bigger nest egg that
I can fall back on if needed seems self serving in my opinion. So in my case its bad to defer. If you are not currently giving to any urgent need charities then the proposal would be positive.
However I have to take issue with those that deem it selfish to defer giving until death. I don't believe that it is selfish for me to keep what I have earnt for the purpose of supporting myself and my family. If that is selfish you could actually recognise most things in life as being selfish. Some of those who find themselves in the position of needing charity can be traced back to their own selfish acts - for example the family who can't support 1 child but continue to bring additional children into the world requiring charitable support - is that not selfish? Those who have horrendous medical bills because they have chosen to have children even though they know genetically there could be issues, or those who have medical bills because they decide for whatever reason they can not accept that death is in the future and they want a loved one saved at all costs.

The truth is many things in life are selfish, we each have to decide what works for us.
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Old 02-09-2008, 01:10 AM   #30
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I wonder if the same kind of delays would work for charity takers as well as charity givers? For example, if your child attends a college you can't afford and you accept charity (a need based schlorship), should the college delay providing that schlorship until the college ceases to exist and distributes its remaining assets? Or at least delay it until some time in the distant future, say 40 years, until the endowment managers have a chance to see how things are going to work out financially? Would make good sense to me....... And you certainly couldn't consider it selfish on the part of the college or university.
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Old 02-09-2008, 07:30 PM   #31
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I have always known this to be true but I was never able to express it so clearly or succinctly. Thank you.


your words humble me. for the record, i also did not have the expression until responding just then as i tried to make sense of what someone else was saying.

as much as we can fool ourselves and be fooled by others, ultimately, truth does not escape us. from even as far down as we have allowed our fears to hide true selves, we still connect & know. though we might not see it or live it or express it clearly, in a medley of senses, what is untrue continues to strike a bad chord or you hear--even if distant--disharmony of the lead or it somehow tastes funny or it might take upon the look of badly woven cloth, often easily shredded; the buttons do not quite match up with the button holes, the fit forced.

where possible you don’t want to embarrass anyone about their dress, and you wish they maintain dignity that they don’t walk around with their fly open. so you work to figure out how to express the esoteric into the vernacular, that what easily hides might be more readily exposed, understood and accepted.

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…if defer charity for 30 years , some of the charities I am currently supporting that feed hungry children will go hungry and possibly die. If if defer that charity until I die so I can have a bigger nest egg that I can fall back on if needed seems self serving in my opinion. So in my case its bad to defer. If you are not currently giving to any urgent need charities then the proposal would be positive.


while it may be magnanimous (if not inconsistant) of you to hold yourself up to a different standard than you hold others, i wonder if it is difficult to reach the mouths of those starving children from up so high on that horse.

let me show you what i hear & see about what you say. these are the words i hear:
“I didn't want to judge” and “if you are not currently giving to any urgent need…the proposal would be positive.” but this is the action i see: “a bigger nest egg that I can fall back on if needed seems self serving in my opinion.”

how is it that your plan of action is less self-serving than that of another when considering how you would feel about yourself were you to stop being so current in your charity, regardless of perceived immediacy? is the guilt which motivates the self-righteous any less sinful than the greed of the self-serving? perhaps one for some is easier to swallow but it is no less a poison.

not to diminish you or your efforts, but someone helped feed the starving before you and someone else will be there afterwards. though i think it is true that your action reduces suffering in the world, it does not end it and some might argue that feeding a person a fish and not teaching that person to fish merely perpetuates their suffering instead of reducing it. but i will assume for the sake of your argument that there are not that many places left to fish and so it is good that you help feed the starving now just like it is good that others try to build their wealth so that they will not become charity cases themselves and that they will be able to help even more tomorrow when you have run out of fish.

though i trust that you do not wish to judge another, i am confused as to why you do not thank them but instead chastise them in your repeated confession that you think their action more self-serving then your own. for even though you help now and so will not have as much funds to help later when maybe the world might need your help more, well, i suppose, as you say, “that is better than nothing” too.

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When I first read LG4NB presentation of the facts, I was a bit annoyed, I was quite peeved that he would label charitable giving as being selfish. However, on reflection, I do agree to a certain extent that he is right…The truth is many things in life are selfish, we each have to decide what works for us.


please excuse my occassional poor grasp of language as i can not always find the word to express my thought and so i tried to qualify my use of the term selfish by saying that it is “selfish in that…”. charity is, of course, not selfish per say as it helps others (though it can even be argued that charity might not only be in deed selfish and particularly manipulative because there might be some charity which helps your cause yet deliberately hurts mine). so to clarify, the selfish part to which i referred is what moves us to charity, not necessarily the charity itself.

my point being that we always do for ourselves but that the more of what we do for ourselves which helps others determines the degree of attributed selflessness, the antidote of selfishness. alternatively, the less others benefit from what we do for ourselves the more we call it selfish. but we can also be generous and giving while we are being selfish and not being selfless at all. for instance, we can reward ourselves with a night on the town or a lazy day in bed, all and only for ourselves, because we deserve it. at that, to deny ourselves such selfish pleasure would be, oddly, selfish. such is the complexity of being human.

so while all our acts are self-serving, the question is how much of what is self-serving selflessly serves others as well. there you will find charity.

“there are places where the mind dies so that a truth which is its very denial may be born.”~~albert camus
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Old 02-09-2008, 11:57 PM   #32
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while it may be magnanimous (if not inconsistant) of you to hold yourself up to a different standard than you hold others, i wonder if it is difficult to reach the mouths of those starving children from up so high on that horse.

let me show you what i hear & see about what you say. these are the words i hear:
“I didn't want to judge” and “if you are not currently giving to any urgent need…the proposal would be positive.” but this is the action i see: “a bigger nest egg that I can fall back on if needed seems self serving in my opinion.”

how is it that your plan of action is less self-serving than that of another when considering how you would feel about yourself were you to stop being so current in your charity, regardless of perceived immediacy? is the guilt which motivates the self-righteous any less sinful than the greed of the self-serving? perhaps one for some is easier to swallow but it is no less a poison.

not to diminish you or your efforts, but someone helped feed the starving before you and someone else will be there afterwards. though i think it is true that your action reduces suffering in the world, it does not end it and some might argue that feeding a person a fish and not teaching that person to fish merely perpetuates their suffering instead of reducing it. but i will assume for the sake of your argument that there are not that many places left to fish and so it is good that you help feed the starving now just like it is good that others try to build their wealth so that they will not become charity cases themselves and that they will be able to help even more tomorrow when you have run out of fish.

though i trust that you do not wish to judge another, i am confused as to why you do not thank them but instead chastise them in your repeated confession that you think their action more self-serving then your own. for even though you help now and so will not have as much funds to help later when maybe the world might need your help more, well, i suppose, as you say, “that is better than nothing” too.
As I said before all my statements were about myself. I was not judging you or the OP. I did not intend to chastise anyone. The charitiy I was talking about does feed, clothe & educate the children and helps the family too. They send you a picture of the child and information about them. You get to see them grow up and after they learn to read and write they write you letters. You tend to think of them as part of your extended family.
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Old 02-10-2008, 01:20 AM   #33
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my mistake entirely homestead. it sounds like a wonderful program and i hope that it brings you much satisfaction.
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Old 02-10-2008, 02:44 AM   #34
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TromboneAl your plan is similar to how I treat the bulk of my charitable giving. I'm not down with the "my charity really needs it now" idea; there will always be charities with urgent legitimate needs, even after I'm dead. The reason charities say they want the money now rather than later is because a bird in hand is worth two in the bush. Also charities are often incredibly shortsighted, for good reasons like the constant threat of extinction.

But there is a way in which giving is about more than maximizing dollars transfered. Giving really is a two way street and by delaying it until death you miss out on lots of the benefits of giving. Just the satisfaction of seeing your impact on other people can improve your mental and even physical health. I believe it can literally save you healthcare dollars by keeping you healthier.

Being ER has changed my attitude towards giving. When I was working giving was largely about transfering money to worthy causes.

Now that I'm ER, I am realizing that most people don't give for the abstract idea of making the world a better place. Most people give for the present feeling of happiness that it brings them. And that happiness increases the closer you are to the results of your giving.

Whereas I used to choose charities based on their performance at achieving their mission, now I place a lot of weight on how much a part of my life they are. Charities that I interact with directly are just more satisfying to give to, both for me and for them.
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Old 02-10-2008, 06:49 PM   #35
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I think the plan sounds okay. I can see other side of how it can be viewed as selfish but the idea behind it is good. go for it!
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Old 02-11-2008, 07:18 AM   #36
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Old 02-11-2008, 07:31 AM   #37
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What amazes me is how many more homeless people there are in colder climates . You are homeless wouldn't it be easier to sleep outside in Florida than Washington DC.
The practical issue of getting there probably keeps them from going. If they're homeless they almost certainly lack the financial resources to travel, or possibly even the ability to plan ahead that far.

I've dealt with homeless people on a short-term basis. (I'm a retired police officer, and the county had a program to put them up in a motel overnight, then contact social services in the morning.) Few of them would bother to contact the agencies that offer help. Or if they did, few of those followed through on what what was required to extricate themselves from their situation. Many were "repeaters" simply looking for a free meal and warm bed and were banned from the program and left to fend for themselves.

Harsh, but why should the taxpayers have to bear the cost of supporting someone who consistently does not - for whatever reasons - make even minimal efforts to support themselves?
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Old 02-11-2008, 01:00 PM   #38
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As anyone who lives in a big California city will attest, the homeless do indeed seek out warm weather. But there are always a subset of homeless people who are too mentally disabled or too drugged out to do what is in their best interests, and they are the ones who stay and die in the colder climates.
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Old 02-11-2008, 04:16 PM   #39
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Sorry Al, putting the money in a fund that you may or may not give to charity later on is not giving to charity. You sound like you want to give money to charity, but you also want to keep the money for yourself. To make yourself feel better you are going to put some money in a fund and say “this is for charity,” but you’ll spend the money yourself if you need it later on. You can’t have it both ways. You need to decide if you are going to give money to charity or not, and then do it. If you want to keep your money that’s your right, but don’t try and fool yourself with this “separate account” gimmick.
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Old 02-11-2008, 04:47 PM   #40
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...To make yourself feel better you are going to put some money in a fund and say “this is for charity,” but you’ll spend the money yourself if you need it later on. You can’t have it both ways...If you want to keep your money that’s your right, but don’t try and fool yourself with this “separate account” gimmick.
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