Who Am I?

Exploring your identity.

Please Give

What is the secret to giving?

‘Tis the most popular season to give.

But it can be difficult at any time of the year to make contributions to the all of the solicitations we receive. This is particularly true in the face of an economy that is inflicting financial pain on so many lives while the government provides little, if any, social safety net.

As a result, it may be impossible to give much, if at all, especially if:

  •  our spouse has lost a job
  •  we are providing for family members who have moved in with us
  • our elderly parents need our support
  • we have student loans
  • our employer has cut our pay
  • we and/or our children have medical bills not covered by insurance

So, what’s a person to do?

One recent suggestion is to create a budget for giving, whether it be $5 or $500,000,000, and then choose to slice the pie according to those causes we value most:

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http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/11/your-money/11money.html?_r=1&ref=global

Yet when we consider the solicitations to which we will give priority, it is important to ask ourselves if those causes are consistent with our identity and our morals.

For instance, an organization may help the poor, and social justice is a major part of our code of ethics. Yet this particular organization may also lobby against immigrant rights, against equal protection for gay and lesbian families, and/or against progressive taxation – the latter which prevents people from accessing healthcare and education.

So, please do give.

And when you give, to thy own self be true. 

Kristine Anthis, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology at Southern Connecticut State University.

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