Psychology of Charity

Charity is one of the instant gratifications that one gets when doing this genuinely out fo the kindness of your heart. Charity is something that changes you instantly as it’s a immediately good deed that you do. Do you recall that time that you saw someone who was without something they needed, and you helped them be with the necessity that they were needing? It was an amazing feeling wasn’t it. Let’s set some boundaries and talk about the ugly that is the act of charity. For starters charity has its own market and how to attain financial gain through the act of charity. Which Elizabeth Chung rights in Classy.org, ways to help non profits gain financial stability if your a non profit as she expresses the three psychological triggers Which are as follows (Elizabeth Chung. 3 Psychological Triggers That Can Help You Win Donations. October 2017. https://www.classy.org/blog/3-psychological-triggers-to-win-donations/.) :

1. The Identifiable Victim Effect

2. Goal Proximity

3. The Martyrdom Effect

But if we are going to be transparent when someone inflicted with sloth is going to use this for a selfish way to fulfill a want and not a need. Where let’s be real. In entitlement, people associate with want and need a little too fluidly.

Hypothetically Ms. Chung wrote this for the best intention, right? But here’s the ugly truth. Many people will use this for their personal gain, becoming the elaborate story tellers. Which is why going with your gut is the most important thing of it. So let’s step away from the negative and focus on the positive. There is actually a whole science behind the act of charity. According to DavidKinner.org as the act of altruism gives what’s called the “warm glow” feeling (The Psychology Behind Giving Back. July 10, 2017. http://davidkinnear.org/psychology-giving-back/.). Truth of the matter is true charity is selfless act that eliminates judgment and bias. We all hold back in the act of charity as we assume the intentions of the person using our own standards as to why we don’t give back. Whatever the case is, we can’t assume and we really don’t know that for sure. One of the interesting things that this article also mentions is what is called, the empathy gap. Which is defined by effectiviology.com is a cognitive bias that causes people to struggle to understand mental states that are different from their present state, or to struggle to consider how such states affect people’s judgment and decision-making. Which at the end of the day, I feel it’s conditioned by social norms.

The Problem With Cognitive Bias

At the end of the day, to do this charity right, we have to have 100% empathy. Back to the cognitive bias thing, we condition ourselves to talk ourselves down from things. Which is perfectly normal as this our risk perception taking over. However when you mix internalized emotions, trauma, and resentment, it becomes a little distorted. How do you ask? What is the first thing we do irrationally when we make irrational judgments that are hyped by a super ego? We tend to over compensate own abilities. Hold that thought for a minute? What happens when we see another person who may be a threat? Well let’s say psychologically speaking, we do this not as it is meant to be, but as stereotyping. Which is another things I feel has been conditioned by society. German Lopez with Vox.com makes this perfectly lucid in his article Study: people see black men as larger and more threatening than similarly sized white men; which the studies will semi shock you as this is a thing that is happening in our modern day society that has sprung the BLM movement (German Lopez. Study: people see black men as larger and more threatening than similarly sized white men. March 17, 2017. https://www.vox.com/identities/2017/3/17/14945576/black-white-bodies-size-threat-study.). Which is no surprise. Okay so let’s take a non threatening situation, where you didn’t like someone for some unknown reason. Don’t lie. We all have felt that once or twice in our lives. Hey, it’s always been those people who I become friend with in the end. Well what was the first impression that you got? Why did you hate them. In my experience, it’s our own misjudgment that is triggered by an event in life. Followed by a passive aggressive threat that we feel about them? Think of animal planet and how animals get territorial. Same concept. Ultimately it’s a fear of what we feel we will lose with them in our natural habitats. In my case, because the girl was prettier, smarter, and I hate to say a total Betty. When my girls and I talk about this, we always get a good laugh at it. The truth of the matter, they helped aid me in some of the wins I had in life. It’s like I said before, when I was down, they carried me to the finish line.

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The Ripple of Charity

Nevertheless, the same thing occurs when we attempt the action of charity. When we attempt the act of charity, we tend to make up excuses as to what a panhandler is going to buy with the money they get. Of course, people do this to make their source of income playing the part all the way to what they wear and actually make that an everyday living. In Houston, I knew a few of those as well. But in all fairness, there are non-profits that also do the same thing as well. Religious organization, which I have also met my fair share as well. Which primarily the excuse of not being charitable is the number one excuse of “We can’t trust anyone these days.” Truth is that is a dime a dozen and many of them have mastered the art of psychological manipulation, which you already are probably giving money to them already. The majority are everyday people like you and me down on their luck. I use to be one of those people that gave charity under conditions. But the funny thing I always knew who where the real one’s in need and who were the fake ones, as one thing that comes out is entitlement. When I was homeless for a short while, I was too proud to get charity. I remember that during my eviction sick and with a terminal illness that more than likely was induced by mold, from an apartment complex that evicted me because of the fact that they “didn’t want problems,” I packed my rented car from a local dealer that gave me a month free. I was hungry and down of luck so I was at a local art supply store trying to salvage some materials so I could make some pieces to sell, a very well mannered woman approached me to talk with me. She asked what I was doing and of course I was very embarrassed to tell her. Which she could tell I was lying. She ended up handling me a envelope with money she withdrew and she said “I feel you need this more than I do. I was just going to get my nails done,” which I couldn’t hold back tears and told her what happened. She told me something told her to check on me, which when I told her this would help me get back home to San Antonio, TX. She gave some words of wisdom. She said “Keep fighting the big fight. And never forget this moment. When you feel someone is in the same predicament, do what I did.” Which I felt faith tested me, which if it truly was, I passed the test. A year later and I am still trying to get back on my feet, but I did what any normal girl would. I wrote a book. And published it as I felt this was a bigger thing I needed to do for society. Sure, I might of used the money I saved to get back on my feet, but I needed to share this knowledge to help those in similar situations find humbled strength. I never got anything in excess, but I am blessed to have a blog page, a roof over my head (even if it’s my families), as I am able to do what I love, live my passion, and selflessly help others. I may not get what I want, but I am humbled to have what I need. Which it gets frustrating at times, since sometimes have to improvise since I am slowly but surely am getting recognition, but that is why I am Jackie of all trades I suppose.

The Effects of Charity

Great things never happen to good people I believed for the longest time. But that changed when I never was without the things I needed. I’ve been without a cellphone, I’ve been without makeup, and takeout, and beauty regiment. Which becomes a treat when I get treated to them. Which in charity, my friends tend to say “Let’s do something special for you!” Since COVID I take tranquility in writing. David J Linden Ph.D. from PsychologyToday.com elaborates on this feeling as he tells a story where a banner he saw “Give till it feels good” finally made senes. He elaborates more on the warm glow and the effects it has to your brain. One of the things that I realized about selfless charity without no bias, no stereotyping is that you begin to gain a great feeling. Charity doesn’t have to be a well known organization. It also takes the form of your inner circle and small world. Have you ever had that feeling of hopelessness when the world was crumbling down on you? But no one came to help? But have you ever assessed the things that you have in abundance? Do you see how many lipsticks and nicknacks you collected that you probably don’t even notice? Girl, pre journey I was a spoiled entitled diva. Truth is, I did the bare minimum and ended up donating things to Goodwill. Which is great. But do you know how many smiles I could of put in my friends face that admired the things I had and gifted it to them? When I see a panhandler and I get that feeling, I always ask them what’s their story when I have time. You would be surprise the smile that lights up on their face when you spare a couple minutes. Charity is not about always giving money. It’s about giving the things you have. Time is something we all have. Which picking up the phone and checking on a friend would make the difference in the world in this pandemic. You might have some things that you have that you don’t want or need that can help change someones life. For me charity is about donating something that will make a difference. During the pandemic and the money I ended up getting when I got COVID, I ended up buying a brisket and making plates to give away to our neighbors so they didn’t have to cook. Some appreciated. Some didn’t and that’s okay. I did my part to make a difference.

Everyone in this world cannot be made happy. Always remember that. Giving what you can is doing your part. We can’t change perceptions of people, we can only make a difference. If someone doesn’t appreciate it, then don’t offer a helping hand again. We have to give charity from our heart and not take things personal. Houston taught me the true act of charity. As I saw the good and the appreciative in the wake of Harvey. In my personal experience, I have experienced this more than once by many people who cared about me. We live in a society that we take things for granted. We can’t help those people who feel a certain way. We can only hope for the best and give gratitude for things we were able to supply in abundance. There are too many factors in a persons personality that drive them to feel what they feel. Worry about what you’re giving out. That’s how I feel you is the recalibration of karma. Hey there have been some recent times that I wondered how I was going to put food on the table and sometimes, but the Universe has shown it provides. I feel it’s because of the things I do. Where writing, donating my time to anyone who reads this, is a way of helping me heal in a larger scale. For now it’s good enough for me, but I have plans. I have a list of the ways I plan to give back. Financially and physically. In my community and bigger scale. Call it a charity bucket list per say. As this is what keeps me accountable of those deeds. Because in a burning world with many of us who struggle to keep our head afloat. It’s nice to know there will always be a helping hand along the way.