"And also the way you mean it, in that you expect some kind of return for the investment of your generosity."
That's not what _I_ meant at all. While it does make sense to be friendly with our friends, when I said spending foolishly I meant things like cars.
I can buy a lot of meals for people who need it with the money I could otherwise spend on a flashier car. The flashy car losses it's shine quickly.
On another level, I take my lunch to work, rather than eating out. 270 lunches X $5 = $1,350 every year, multiply by me and my wife, that's $2,700.
Over ten years, $27,000 from lunch. Instead, I could buy someone their first starter car every year and still come out $700 ahead, just by taking
lunch with me.
Really, ANONYMOUS giving does something to me that I don't get any other way. I'd like to do that more anonymous giving.
I can't quite explain it, but I think the effect is has on me likely makes more a more successful person, certainly a happier person.
I mentioned foolish giving. By that I do not meaning giving where I'll get nothing in return. I always get something in return because
it does something to my psyche / spirit / brain that's good. I mean that just as it's foolish to rent furniture from RAC, it's foolish to
"give" by bailing that same person out of jail AGAIN, or bailing them out of whatever situation they habitually put themselves in.
Just as the rented furniture ends up going back to the store, my brother ends up going back to the jail. Much better use that money
on someone whose actions show they intend to never go back to jail again.
Giving very publicly is fun, the recognition strokes the ego. Giving anonymously WITHOUT the ego boost, remaining humble, has longer
lasting benefits. I'm reminded that I'm actually the steward of what I have. It's been trusted to me because I've made wise decisions,
worked hard, etc., so it would be irresponsible of me to hand it out to drunks who will waste it, but ultimately it's not really mine. It was
created by the creator, and when I put it use with that in mind I become closer to what I'm made to be.
* I am no saint. I give far less than I "should", far less than many people do. I'm merely speaking of what happens _when_ I give in different ways.