It’s easy to think giving money has no impact on poor souls in hell. It’s easy to blame, to judge them, to call them a black hole whose value-damage cannot be offset. While responsible for their actions, they were also created –for example, antisocial children fail at socialization in the second stage of socialization (ecological development) due to environmental hostility. Lesser disorders reveal what many of us know intuitively – we may be one chance moment away from disaster. How do we engage this truth? Do we listen to Ayn Rand, playing a zero-sum game, or spiritual teachers, benevolently giving all we have to others?
The Phenomenology of Giving
Four years ago, I was in hell and asked for help. Some judged; others gave. The monetary value of the help at that time was less than two month’s expenses in Los Angeles.
The result? Relational endings, business cLosure, and I was even hit by a car. This seemed a failure to many, like a negative return. However, my credit was saved, which allowed me to buy a car after a motorcycle accident, work a living wage, and relocate. I was able to maintain the relationships which mattered the most, and I even went back to school. Their sacrifice, the giving up of present desires for a better future, had exponential growth in my immediate life.
And the net return? I finished an MS in Psychology and began helping people, some of who left their own hellish place. I shared my apartment with people who had nowhere else. The indirect systematic result is others have found jobs, stability, referrals, and shelter. A modest estimate of the directly attributable net return is a staggering yearly average of 100% over 4 years in my own life (1:1:2:4), and that increases 200% with the resulting income others received during coaching.
“Love” was originally “charity.”
These numbers ignore the longterm societal return, as the benefit of this good deed echoes through the societal strata. This echo has made many people’s lives better, people I’ll never meet, and it changed my view on social good, forever. Bill Gates echoed this thought, saying the social safety net should be strengthened. I agree – the measure of good in a stable life is incalculable. The poor are in need; investing in the least of these, those low in means, insight, or help, is the greatest return a person can ask for their dollar.