I believe that the concept of charity and proper education are the most powerful things on the planet for enabling people to fulfill their life’s desires. And, that when properly executed these two areas effectively negate the need for large government and socialism.
My first internship of the summer, as you may or may not know, is helping a charitable foundation get started. They currently have the following: a sound donor base, a decent amount of money and a will to make this organisation work. What they are missing is the understanding of how charities are started, what is needed for them to be sustainable and an all encompassing mission that sets a (nearly) impossible mission for themselves.
My role, along with the MD, is to help sort out those weaknesses. Getting back into this area after a year off has been interesting and has really gotten me thinking about what really lights my fire in life. I like charity. I thrive on a huge mission that impacts on the lives of other people. I am energised when my work helps enable others. Little kids, fuzzy bunnies, education, … essentially the things that I see on a day to day basis that in my mind I think is wrong.
- I think having people without a home is wrong but I don’t think the government solutions work.
- I think having people scared to walk outside due to violence is wrong.
- I think little people (that’s kids) should be educated to a high standard; pushed, pushed, and pushed some more because their self-esteem is based on knowing things.
- I think people should have a little common sense and realise that we should look for new ways of running engines (note I didn’t say stop running engines), heating homes, buying things, etc. It’s just sad that these debates aren’t framed around finding an innovation rather than do or die.
- I agree with Reagan, government has never been the solution to a problem, in fact in many, many situations it is the problem (notable exceptions: monetary policy and its work in smoothing economies, defense and property rights)
So now what? Am I declaring that I’m heading back to charity? Hell no.
While a true idealist in my heart, my work experience tells me that the idealism gets caught up in the daily details like having trustees not get the point, employees that are all feeling rather than thinking (social worker types who can’t manage a budget), a public that expects the profit motive to disappear in charity workers (same work, less pay?) and a bureaucracy that slows down the process due to risk adverse management entrusted with other people’s money.
My heart is with a charitable cause and the idea of a community helping each-other, while my brains tell me to head another direction, make a little money and then start the process on my own terms (Bill Gates Foundation), which is the plan. It’s fun to be back in the game though, and hopefully help an organisation get going, but know that the curtain closes in July.