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Charity is in the lies

Charity is in the lies

They say charity begins at home - or, before we go into it, it's not even clear what that statement really means when someone says it. Some use the term as a protest against giving money to people you don't know. Somewhat just to alleviate their guilt of actually not being charitable. Others pretty much use the term to express the opposite view - that you definitely should give money to people in need, even if you have no idea who they actually are.

As with the "charity begins at home" statement, the topic of charity is sort of complicated. My personal view is that charity usually comes from egoism, positive one at that, but still, egoism. We want to feel better about ourselves, or we want to feel better about other people and by doing that we feel better about ourselves. Well, I know many people would argue here, "how the hell am I being egoistic if I donate to a charity," but the theory is that everything good we do to others, is to feel better ourselves. And that's okay. Because if you feel better, if the person you helped feels better, the world has suddenly become a bit better place, independent of the initial reason for your kindness or charitable actions.

But there's also another side to this triangular(ish) coin - people often not only lie (or misunderstand it themselves) about the reasons for donating to charity or doing anything else kind for others, but people also seem to be lying about how charitable they actually are. They (or should I say, we) lie to our work colleagues, to our partner(s), to our family members and obviously, to our friends. The reason? Just to show off to your peers and make them think better of you. My Voucher Codes polled over 2000 people in ages 18 and over in the UK, and 42% of the ones polled answered that they had lied about how charitable they actually are.

(Now just to think about it, if 42% are willing to admit it, the actual number might be closer to 100)

What exactly did they lie about?
  • 45% had lied about how much money they had raised (more than they raised)
  • 45% had lied about how much money they had donated (more than they in fact donated)
  • 32% had lied about what they did to raise money for charity
  • 37% had lied about what charities they donated to
  • 23% had lied about why they were raising money
  • 17% had lied about volunteering time to a charity/cause when they hadn’t
  • 8% had claimed someone else’s charity work as their own

    Sometimes raising money for charity can bring out a competitive edge in people. This can be good news for charities, however it’s shocking to see people actually lying about how much money they have raised or how much money they have donated. The only people really losing out here are the charities, but some peoples’ egos are certainly being boosted. - Chris Reilly General Manager of MyVoucherCodes

    There's no good reason to lie about your charitable actions, nor the lack of them. Yet, most of us does it, for one reason, or another.


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