Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Life You Can Save

Today, I took the pledge.

It all started a few years ago when I read a remarkable short book by one of the most influential and controversial philosophers alive, Peter Singer. The book is called, The Life You Can Save. Singer's message, outlined in the 3 minute video below, is sound and compelling. Watch it:

While we all recognize that part of living an ethical life involves not stealing and not hurting people, surely it must also involve helping the least fortunate, like the billions who suffer in extreme poverty, when we so easily can.

Here's Peter Singer's recent TED talk on 'Effective Altruism', the movement that combines compassion and reason to help most effectively:

I will give 5% of my income to help my least fortunate brothers and sisters and I will do so annually at least until I retire. Singer's standard pledge asks me to give more than that, but it's what I feel comfortable with at the moment. I hope that this is just a start to becoming a more generous philanthropist and a better person. Maybe one day, I'll be able to make the 10% pledge at Toby Ord's website, Giving What We Can.

I'm telling you this because research shows that philanthropy is contagious. I hope that my pledge will inspire you to make one too. After all, it's part of living a good life. 

Interested? Here are some links with quality information that you might need.

When you make a pledge (whether you already have or you do so a few years from now), tell us about it by leaving a comment below. Help to inspire us all.