A brief glance at the history of this blog will show a sporadic (about once every 6 months) attempt to write things, often badly worded, on the subject of “doing good things”.
For quite a while now, I’ve been struggling with finding a way to do more good with my life. At various points I’ve had small answers for myself: when I was a bit younger, it was doing a sponsored thing for a charity, studying ethics as part of my Philosophy degree, running a student volunteering group. Then it was trying to find a “good” organisation to work for – what mission, which sector, what cause? Education popped up again and I thought a masters in Sustainability would give me more direction. Lots of little things, at lots of little points in time.
But they only gave me short-term goals, whereas the wider question – how do I do more good with my life? – remained frustratingly unresolved. And then 2015-16 happened and the question expanded to include “how do I help defend the good we already have?”. Overall, not a good place to be if you’re already unable to do enough good, or work how out to.
So now, after an extended December break and in an attempt to mold all this “new year new me” stuff into something actually positive and not related to how much cake I eat, I’m refocusing. Everyone needs short-term goals (well, everyone I know), so I’m not aiming to create a 30 year manifesto of goodness. What I will do is take a more systematic and in depth approach to the question that’s been my main motivation in adult life (alongside not getting my socks wet and eating peanut butter sandwiches).
I’m starting with a topic that I’m already fairly comfortable with – how much of my income should I give to good causes, and which causes should they be? From April I’m aiming to give 5% of my income to organisations doing good – and that’ll be the starting point for blog version 3.0: tracking the who, how and why of this.
From there I’ll see where things take me, what ideas I uncover/rediscover and how it helps me answer the big question.