In the book Global Values 101, which happens to be edited by someone I really like, there is an interview by bioethicist Peter Singer. Though sometimes I think Singer is crazy, his interview discusses his decision to give 20% of his yearly financial gain away to charity. He has plans to move it to 30% very soon. We clearly don’t bat our eyes at 10%, or if we do we try not to let our neighbors see the batting, but what about 20 or 30?
I was interested in one his reasons which seems mostly self-serving. He said that it gives him a feeling of purpose in his life that he can’t get from anything else. Making decisions, knowing that he is choosing to live well below what he earns, makes him feel good about himself and his place in the world. Do you think this could be true? Why would it be? Do you think he just needs to find God and His purpose for his life?
I do believe that living on less, especially when you’re sharing the extra with those in need, gives us purpose but why is that? Is this a universal feeling or just something that people from rich, developed countries can feel?
I have goals to live my life this way but I’m not always sure why I want to.