• Akila Venkatesh

#22: Donate a percentage of your income to charity

Happy New Year’s readers!

I’ve never fully bought into the idea of making New Year’s resolutions.  To me, the 1’st of January is like any other day in the calendar year.  Why not take a small bottle of white-out to our calendars and lather it on top of, say, March 15, or November 2, or July 18, and write in January 1 instead? It’s really just a number.  However, as human nature and psychology would have it, many of us need this socially agreed upon date to feel that life is ‘refreshed’.

That being said, why not make a refreshing resolution that will benefit not only ourselves but the greater good as well.  After reading Peter Singer’s book ‘The Life You Can Save’,  this year, I am resolving to donate a specific percentage of my income to charity.  I may even draw a little thermometer and put it up on my fridge to track my success in reaching my goal. Youpie!

Peter Singer’s book critically examines the ethical, psychological, philosophical, statistical and practical aspects of donating to charity and how this can help save lives.  He challenges us to think about how and why we often make choices to spend money on luxury items for ourselves over donating to causes that can truly make a difference between life and death for many people in the world.  He effectively breaks down several common objections and misconceptions to giving and concludes his book with practical suggestions on how people can help save lives by donating to successful charities.

The Life You Can Save is a quick and accessible read and I highly recommend it for anyone looking to understand their own life choices and seeking to help others in a practical, meaningful and most importantly, an effective manner.  Singer’s message is powerful and undeniably convincing– if every financially stable person donated even a modest percentage of their income to charity, (which would in no way diminish their standard of living), we could eradicate human suffering and unnecessary death on this planet.  These videos  and Darren’s McKee’s talk on Skepticism and Morality describe Singer’s book and his message. Check out Singer’s organization, TheLifeYouCanSave.org, as well. YOU can help the world.

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© 2020 by Akila Venkatesh

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