People generally go about philanthropy the wrong way. Like money, the social impact of your efforts has a tendency to compound provided you get involved early.
Philanthropy is harder than business. You are tackling important problems that people with intellect and money have tried in the past and had a tough time solving. ~ Warren Buffett
Few years back, one of my friends asked me if I would donate money for charity. My smart-alec answer to him was, “Charity begins at home. So I choose to donate myself first.”
And then, to further flaunt my deep thinking abilities, I backed it up with another logic.
“In case of emergency, recommends the flight safety announcements, you should wear the oxygen mask yourself first and then help the other person. So I believe that I should first get rich myself and then only think about charity and giving back to society.”
I thought it wasn’t a selfish attitude. It was a perfectly rational answer to anybody who wanted to exploit my guilt about not giving back to society.
“So how much money do you think you should have before you can call yourself rich?” asked my friend.
Of course I didn’t have any answer to that question, which made me wonder if I was just making up rational sounding excuses to avoid thinking about a difficult subject. Perhaps I was.