During the past few years, I have frequently contemplated the issue of charitable giving. Every time there is a disaster of major proportion, we are called upon to donate. I listened to these pleas following 9/11 and the tsunami. Of late, the earthquake in China, the Myanmar cyclone, and the flooding along the Mississippi have prompted organizations like the American Red Cross to redouble their efforts to raise money. Regularly, I am subject to appeals from non-profit organizations that solicit money for a plethora of causes: Jerry Lewis browbeats me on behalf of children suffering from Muscular Dystrophy, the Fraternal Order of Police demands that I purchase their light bulbs, and National Public Radio subjects me to a full day of on-air begging twice per year.
Because I rarely donate to any of these organizations, I sometimes worry that I do not do enough to help others. I wonder if I am selfish or less generous than I should be. My problem, however, is that I have a healthy suspicion of charitable organizations. Although I believe Continue reading