Sunday, 4 May 2008
Charity as Punishment
So far in 2008 I have given about $200 to charity. The way I give to charity is slightly unusual. I force myself to give to charity if I have sinned. When I use the word "sin" I am not talking about religion. Rather, I sin when my actions do not reflect my intentions or my ideals about how I should be. I will not be specific about my ideals about what I should do, but let's just say it's similar to this: I should exercise X hours per week, study Y hours per week, invest Z dollars per fortnight, and so on. I use a spreadsheet to record the quantity with which I am doing all these things and if I am deficient, I punish myself by giving to charity using my credit card. I hate losing money, so this drives me to become ideal.
When I give money to my parents, I do not count this as charity because really I am compensating them for my living expenses, e.g. water, electricity, and food.
Figuring out how much I am donating with Kiva loans was also difficult because the money I give will eventually come back to me since it is a loan. I decided to count as a donation the interest that I lost. I assume that I can earn 8 per cent on investments, and since Kiva gives no interest then I lose 8 per cent.