Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Altruism and Found Money
Journal Entry: Weight = 174.0; Coinage = $.89; 14 pennies, 1 nic, 2 dimes, 2 quarters; Glass bottles retrieved = 4; Ground Scores = 3; Best coinage find = two walkover coins that had been missed on repeated walks over the last several months, a dime on the ground near a paper vendor and a quarter semi buried in dirt along a curb. Good job foveal receptors! Best Ground Score = a pair of wonderful red size large woman's capris. These will be washed and recycled.
Feature Entry: Yesterday, the MoneyWalker presented $208.00 to the Baptist Friendship House of New Orleans. All but $90 was the result of finding coins and paper currency during MoneyWalking excursions over the last six months. The $90 was from the sale of china plate ware retrieved from the MoneyWalkers’ rental property flooded by Katrina. The plateware owners had abandoned the house which had received 7 feet of flood water. The plate ware somehow survived. After washing and sanitizing the china, it was sold through a consignment store. Our split was $90.
There are many worthy ways to dispense of found money and other “passive” streams of revenue. Vacation funds, gifts to family members, general family needs such as groceries, a rainy day fund, and a college fund are excellent ways to invest found and passive revenue streams. Yet, the Moneywalker has selected to give found money to a charity that ministers to battered women and their children.
The remainder of this blog entry will list reasons why philanthropy was selected as the outlet for the money. First is civic virtue—good citizens have a responsibility to help others in need.
Second is a need for individuals to contribute to a civil society that seeks to meet pressing social issues rather than to continually count on state and federal agencies.
Third, the MoneyWalker understands that giving to help others is a rich source of personal happiness. Finding a ten dollar bill brings an immediate source of satisfaction, but true happiness is found by giving to others. Thus, giving provides an “enlightened self-interest” which helps me experience an individual personal need.
And fourth, giving to others without expected reciprocity is a high form of altruism, a selfless concern for the welfare of others.