Information wants to be free. However, unconscious conflicts often arise in exchanging knowledge and information for money. In response, many individuals and institutions make their services available to anyone interested on a voluntary, offer-whatever-you-can basis. The expectation is that those fortunate enough to have sufficient financial resources and who resonate with the mission – “to put a small dent in the suffering in the world” – will offer support so that services can be freely provided to those less fortunate.
How do we make a decision regarding what to offer? What seems to work best is to find that place where our brain observes us being overly fearful and meager, and the opposite neural circuitry where we can observe ourselves being extravagant and grandiose. Whatever we give, our brain is watching and generating an internal, mostly unconscious narrative about us. Bearing that in mind, it’s probably best to donate from The Goldilocks Zone of our charitable heart – not too little and not too much. In other words, what we would feel good about receiving were positions reversed.
“Let us try to teach and model generosity and altruism, because we are born selfish. Let us understand what our own selfish genes are up to, because we may then at least have the chance to upset their designs, something that no other species has ever aspired to do.”