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Good intentions not required

Y'know, everyone thinks they have good intentions. Have you ever met anyone who said, "I'm here to break stuff and screw the world up"? No, of course not.

I'm thinking you don't actually need good intentions to do good works. Actually, good intentions by themselves don't seem to accomplish much of anything.

Here's the top three virtues I'd look for in someone to actually achieve good things.

Strength is the virtue that's required for all other virtues. If you're not internally strong, you get easily swayed by opinions, social pressure, culture, and things like that. It's hard to hold on to virtues if you're not strong when you're in the crowd.

Why Charities Have Remained Ineffective

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A few days I watched this unique TED Talk on why the way we think about charity is dead wrong. Now I didn't know much about the economics and financial stuff about charities (nor do I now), but Dan Pallota made a good case and I support it.

There are tons of charities around the United States, but few have been able to provide a significant impact. While, yes, there have been successful programs, few have reached such a large audience. There are limited opportunities to raise revenue, and Dan Pallota attributes that to the attitude charities face.

There's an old saying that goes something like "to make money, you have to spend money." This ideology has caused many businesses to grow in capitalist America, an economy that rewards high-risk with high-reward (if successful). Long-term investments in human resources and capital need to be made to see results down the road. Losses at first are expected, but as long as the goal of future profit remains, all is well.

Unlike these businesses that have shaped America, charities are different. Very different. Because a significant portion of "revenue" consists of donations from individuals, they don't want to see their capital "wasted." And by that, I mean they expect short-term success. They want to see every dollar's effect soon. What investors of charities do not want to see is their capital being used for something that might pay off in years. Even though the social benefit might be tenfold, no one has that patience.

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