Long after it should have been bedtime, my girls heard a chapter read of The Call Of the Wild, by Jack London.
Since I started this blog, I’ve been struggling with my reasons I give.
Am I giving to help someone else, or help me?
The former is altruistic. The latter is selfish.
But now I think I have a third way. And it’s all in the type of result we expect.
- Direct Result – We contribute to a cause and we know exactly where the money will be spent.
- Indirect Result – We give clothes to a charity knowing that someone will wear them someday.
These are easy to understand. But there seems to be another kind of result which is more ambiguous, but perhaps equally important.
- Unknown Result– An unknown result is when we give our time or money but really don’t know what will happen.
Pure altruism may be unattainable without it because you can’t control the outcomes when you give for an unknown result.
It’s also personally rewarding. It takes confidence and trust when you give for an unknown result. And that helps you grow.
Altruism is diametrically opposed to personal reward. But the bridge between them is giving with an unknown result.