I have often been charitable out of a desire to see my charity make a positive difference in a…
Tim Knowles

Thanks for replying.

I really never thought of it as a feel-good thing… I’ve never been in the position to give enough for it to be life-changing, so maybe that’s why? It’s a practical personal decision for me. If you’re religious it’s a faith thing- I think that was a phase in capitalism, the guy who set up the Red Cross (Dunant? Durant?) was an example of that kind of Christian obligation. I think there is something similar in Islam?

I grew up with a lot of brothers and sisters, so sharing feels normal to me. Some people don’t feel bad about paying taxes on that same basis. I see donating, when I can spare, as a tax I have direct choice over.

But thinking about it…my husband’s an only child and he’s similar in outlook, so who knows?

Maybe it’s also contrariness to the selection outcomes of modern life which makes me feel like redistribution is a good plan. I’m not sure it’s doing the best job of picking winners as far as long term humanity goes. I’m not sure disease resistance necessarily tracks with success under capitalism for example, so just in case we’re actually selecting against useful traits…that’s a kind of long view self-interest, anyway!

If I thought recipients felt they had to show gratitude (as opposed to just feeling it, if they do) that would make me feel weird about giving, to be honest.

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