Today is “Giving Tuesday” – the charitable world’s response to consumerism-focused days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. I’m getting a lot of donation appeals in my inbox from an array of worthy causes. Instead of going off on a rant about why I think that’s a shallow approach to what could be a really thoughtful day of community and movement-building, I’ll just tell you why I give.
I give back to communities and organizations that have given or provide for me. I give when my friends ask me to give, because it takes time and risk to ask your friends for money, and I know my friends only do that for worthwhile causes. I give to small organizations because I know that living on a grant-to-grant cycle can suck up a lot of time and energy that could be better spent on world-making. I give to artists and entrepreneurs because they inspire me with their ideas, and most of the people and companies with deep pockets never inspire me, or have stopped inspiring me long ago. I give because I have money to give – not because I feel like I’m rolling in cash, but because I’m doing far better than most of the billions of people on this planet, and despite my very best efforts, I’m probably destroying the planet quicker than them too.