MW

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The Drowning Child and the Expanding Circle

This may be a chicken and egg conundrum. Are they happy because they socialize; or do they socialize because they are happy?

The same goes for altruism. Is one altruistic because they are happy; or are they happy because they are altruistic?

Off the top of my head (with no deep thought to this) I suspect that if one is unhappy with their life, altruism will not make them happy with their life. They may still get the "warm glow", but not the deeper happiness.

Cheerfully

I agree with you. I don't give in order to get thanks, accolades or praise from the recipient or from those who witness my giving. I much prefer to give anonymously in private.

Cheerfully

I sense a continuum here. From the warm glow to resentment or bitterness, with various stages of "good" and "bad" feelings along the continuum. I have no problem with give until in hurts, if the hurt is that I have to deny myself something relatively unimportant or delay gratification for something. For example handing my brown bag lunch to a hungry homeless person is painful, especially once the hunger sets in, but I realize that my hunger is much less than his. This certainly won't make me angry or bitter. The challenge is for each of us to find our own place along this continuum.

The concept of giving enough to get the warm glow is interesting.

Many people tithe. We give a set percent (usually 10%) of our income. The tithe comes first, off the top. It's not for a warm glow. Maybe duty??? Sometimes it actually hurts and there is definitely not a warm glow at those times. EG I have to give the 10% but that means my kids can't do some activity they want, or get those cool shoes that everybody else has.

While I have experienced the warm glow, I've also experienced the pain. Also, the number of birds or human lives saved won't influence me. Not because I'm insensitive, but because 10% controls the amount I give. I am not saying that I'm more sensitive than others. I just don't respond to requests like that. I do an annual giving plan and usually stick pretty close to it. It's part of the monthly budget with a different charity (or two or three) in the budget each month.

The concept of tithe comes from the Torah, but it some people apply it outside of the religious setting.