The Generosity Principle: Helping Others Helps Yourself
This has been the most difficult principle to put down in words, because I am all to well aware of my own failings in this area.
The fundamental insight of this principle is that when people help other people, they are richly rewarded both in terms of personal
happiness, improved health and longer lives. This effect is significant and well researched by modern science
I will be reinventing the wheel, in some detail but for now, I will direct everyone to read “Why Good Things Happen to Good People”, by Dr Steven Post and Jill Neimark.
I can’t recommend this book highly enough. In fact, I buy copies that I hand out to people who I think might benefit. It is
practical and grounded in reality in ways that everything I write is not. It discusses real world situations and real world effects.
In many ways probably the most important book ever written (including fairly much anything that I’ll ever end up publishing).
This is also a very moving book. I continually cried tears of happiness as I read its wonderful contents and felt privileged to be
able to share in the lives of so many generous and inspiring people.
In my view, giving to religious organisations is not the same as giving to charity, unless 100% of those donations go to help those
in need. Even then, be suspicious, because many of those organisations aren’t doing it because of any empathy for those they help, but rather because they want to “save their souls”. Their motivations are paternalistic and intrusive, rather than compassionate and tolerant.
Tithing 10% of your income is a great thing to do (and very wealthy people should really tithe much more – in excess of 50% – for
those in the 1% at the top -, but tithing to a religious organisation that then uses that money to spread a religious message helps
nobody but the priests, nuns, imams and assorted beaurocrats who’s interests are best served by the expansion of their churches,
rather than helping those in need. Far too often, churches are about the aqisition and maintanaince of power than any supposed connection to the Divine.
There is nothing wrong with giving to religious organisations (it would be nice if some cashed up sugar daddy contributed to mine),
but please don’t pretend that this is money that actually helps do much more than pay for the marketing and promulgation of a
particular worldview. It might be well worth the investment and quite noble, but far too often this money distorts those who receive
it. In the marketplace of ideas such contributions certainly do not deserve tax free status.