Are you guilty of giving out of guilt? Do you guilt others into giving? I’ve done both, but am giving up those habits!
I was listening to the Gilmore Gang podcast yesterday, as Jason Calacanis talked about a new video podcast he is starting with Podtech. He has negotiated with his sponsors (and plans to do the same with his guests) to donate money from every episode to a private school in NY, to pay the way for foster kids in Brooklyn to attend.
Straight away people are stirring the guilt pot:
* accusing him of trying to destroy the public school system
* accusing him of elitism
* thinking he should be doing more (he is talking a minimum of $50 – 100,000/yr)
* accusing him of treating a few at the expense of the many.
Jeez! I so agree with Jason in this case. A gift is just that. A GIFT. That means the giver gets to determine the who, what, when, where, and why. I find some people who are genuinely caring get paralyzed from giving because they see such huge problems and think only grand sweeping (dare I say grandiose) gestures are worth doing. And they also try to guilt others into “doing something” to fix things. But I think that misses two points.
Point 1 – I already stated above. Point 2 – I think problems are more effectively solved on the local, personal level.
Margaret Mead: Never doubt that a small, group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
Other people give because they feel guilty. I’ve done that a lot in my life. But I am trying to break myself of both habits so my giving is free of strings, free of guilt, free of investment. I think that is the most powerful type of gift.
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