What would you do with an extra $1,000?
Those were what I judged to be my needs at the moment. Neither cigarettes or alcohol, nor another job, nor anything else. I don’t believe anybody could have made a better decision on my behalf. In fact, few people even understand what I chose to do with that time and money. And yet this experience, which I would hardly call an extended vacation, has made me feel alive in a way I hadn’t for years, and dramatically changed the course of my life. I came back a different person, with a whole new set of values and opportunities to pursue.
That roughly summarizes why I have supported GiveDirectly, and will continue to donate 10% of my gross earnings to them, as well as promote them in social media and real life. My vision is a world where everybody has the autonomy to decide their own fate. GiveDirectly’s diligent and incredibly transparent work, repeatedly vetted for several years in a row by reputable charity evaluator GiveWell, has shown that giving cash directly to the poor and letting them judge for themselves, within their context, what to do with it to improve their own lives might be a great way to realize that vision — if not the best!
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This piece is crossposted in the GiveDirectly blog, for which it was originally written.