Where Am I Giving: A Global Adventure Exploring How to Use Your Gifts and Talents to Make a Difference
Where am I? 1. Aufl.
Your gifts connect you to a world of giving Americans are generous with their pocketbooks, but trying to make a difference and actually making a difference are two different things. Where Am I Giving? by New York Times bestselling author Kelsey Timmerman takes you on a journey to meet people who will inspire you to live a purpose-filled, generous life and make the greatest impact you can through your career, time, consumer dollars, and donations. Starting in his hometown of Muncie, Indiana, and then traveling all over the world (Myanmar, Kenya, India, Nepal, and more), Kelsey explores not only different ways of giving—as a worker, consumer, volunteer, giver, local and global citizen—but also the benefits and effectiveness of these methods. He spends time with monks, students, a refugee, a Marine, a former Hollywood executive, Peace Corps Volunteers, and seasoned aid workers to explore how they give, as well as with the people on the receiving end of their giving. Along the way he struggles to be a more informed giver as he becomes a "voluntourist,” starts his own local non-profit, and searches for a balance between rationality and passion in how he gives. This book will help you: Reveal the amazing opportunities you have to make an impact using your own gifts—and it doesn't have to be money Understand the sociology, philosophy, anthropology, and neuroscience of giving See how giving can make you more connected and happier Examine types of giving, including microlending, volunteering, donating, ethical consumption, mission trips, voluntourism, child sponsorship, etc. Dive into a nuanced view of effectiveness of international aid and its intersection with development, politics, and culture Where Am I Giving? is a fast-paced narrative combining compelling stories collected over 15 years of travel to 90+ countries, mixed with practical advice on how to make giving a part of our everyday lives.
INTRODUCTION: THE TRASH PICKER, THE SLAVE, AND THE GARMENT MAKER (THE WORLD, 2001–2018) xiii PART I Why Give (When I Have Problems of My Own)? CHAPTER 1 Life After College (Nepal, 2001)The mission / The responsibility of privilege 3 CHAPTER 2 One Night in a Slum Showed Me How Poor I Was (Kenya, 2010)Why should we care when we have our own problems? / My problem with missionaries / Giving thoughts and prayers 11 CHAPTER 3 We Aren’t the Heroes (Kenya, 2010)Toxic charity / Fair trade travel 19 CHAPTER 4 Confessions of a Volunteer Addict (Indiana, 2010)Benefits of volunteering / 100-hour rule /Make where you live interesting 25 CHAPTER 5 What Can One Person Do? (Cambodia, 2017)Leaving Hollywood for a dump in Cambodia / The White Savior Industrial Complex 37 CHAPTER 6 Happiness Isn’t Having a Lot; It’s Giving a Lot (Cambodia, 2017)The Hero’s journey / What The Matrix teaches us about happiness and purpose / Four pillars of meaning 47 CHAPTER 7 Giving Is Complicated: Ethnic Cleansing in the Most Generous Nation on Earth (Myanmar, 2017)Change starts with students / Problem with empathy / World Giving Index / Problem with orphanages 63 CHAPTER 8 Seeing Differently to Make a Difference (Myanmar, 2017)A not-so-noble Nobel Peace Prize winner / Problem with karma / Intent matters 75 CHAPTER 9 Giving on Purpose (Myanmar, 2017)Giving alms / Meditating on giving 83 CHAPTER 10 The Gift of Tasting Ice Cream (Myanmar, 2017)A former monk on giving / Solitude / Thoreau’s three chairs 89 PART II What Can I Give? CHAPTER 11 Science of Do-gooding (Kenya, 2017)Effective altruism / The cost to save a life / Should you give your kidney? / Extreme givers 99 CHAPTER 12 Money for Nothing (Kenya, 2017)Universal basic income / Proximity to need / The poor are better givers 115 CHAPTER 13 No Justice, No Peace (Kenya, 2017)Election chaos / Freedom versus aid / Legacy of colonialism / Human rights / Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs 123 CHAPTER 14 Giving Is Immeasurable: Change One, Change 100 (Kenya, 2017)Waging peace on warriors / Stepping-stones in the river of life / Education as a path out of poverty 137 PART III Start Local CHAPTER 15 Growing Up Gandhi (India, 2017)Mandated giving / The Mother Teresa controversy / Gandhi on giving 149 CHAPTER 16 Start with Your Local (India, 2017)Crossing caste lines / Towers and slums / Untouchables 157 CHAPTER 17 Start Small (India, 2017)Locals challenging societal norms / Creating leaders / The girl effect 169 PART IV The Gift of Travel CHAPTER 18 Should You Go on a Slum Tour? (India, 2017)Poverty porn? / History of “slumming it” / Impact of slum tours 177 CHAPTER 19 Joy in a Hopeless Place (Kenya, 2017)Safari Doctors / Following the locals’ lead / Go make a difference / Investing in people 185 CHAPTER 20 See Yourself in the Lives of Others (Kenya, 2017)It’s a wonderful life? / Our struggles connect us / Wisdom of traditional societies 197 CHAPTER 21 Travel If You Can – It’s Fatal to Prejudice (Kenya, 2017)How travel makes you a better human / Travel creates philanthropists / Responsible tourism / Reverse culture shock 207 PART V Is Helping Helping? CHAPTER 22 The Kiva Controversy (Cambodia, 2017)The problem with microlending / Meeting Kiva borrowers / Giving fads 221 CHAPTER 23 Sponsor a Child, Save theWorld? (Zambia, 2017)The realities of child sponsorship / Stories versus stats / Psychic numbing / Aid and dependency 231 CHAPTER 24 Marine Wages War on Poverty Through Locally-Led Change (Kenya, 2010)Fighting terrorism by fighting poverty / Starting with the end in mind 247 CHAPTER 25 The Little Village That Was Supposed to Change the World (Kenya, 2017)UN’s Millennium Development Goals / Can unlimited resources end poverty? / Do we need more or less id? 255 PART VI Our Gifts Connect Us to the World CHAPTER 26 The Strength in Your Story (US, 2011–2018)The art of listening / The gift of your story 265 CHAPTER 27 The X Factor in the Good Person Equation 271 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 275 ABOUT THE AUTHOR 279 APPENDIX A Giving Appendix 281
KELSEY TIMMERMAN is the New York Times bestselling author of Where Am I Wearing? and Where Am I Eating?. A champion of global thinking and local action, he regularly speaks at universities, colleges, and high schools all over the U.S. He is also the co-founder of The Facing Project, a non-profit community storytelling initiative in nearly 100 communities across the country. kelseytimmerman.com
Your gifts connect you to a world of giving. And if you effectively put them to use, you'll live a longer, more meaningful life, and you just might change the world. After graduating from college, Kelsey Timmerman didn't set out with such lofty aspirations when he boarded a one-way flight that led to more than 16 years of travel. He just wanted to see a world beyond the rural Midwest. Through the years, he met sweatshop workers in Honduras, a slave in Ivory Coast, and kids who worked as trash pickers in Cambodia. Kelsey saw the inequality and injustice in the world and felt guilty, overwhelmed, and powerless to make a difference. In Where Am I Giving?, the New York Times bestselling author embarks on an adventure that challenges himself and readers to move beyond awareness to action and to take advantage of the opportunities each of us have to make a difference. Kelsey travels to Myanmar, Kenya, India, Nepal, Zambia, and beyond to explore different ways of giving—as a worker, consumer, volunteer, philanthropist, local and global citizen—and also the benefits and effectiveness of these methods. He learns from folks such as Tibetan monks, Gandhi's great grandson, a refugee, gang members turned peace activists, and a former Hollywood executive. Kelsey discovers how they give and meets the people on the receiving end of their giving. Giving isn't just about writing a check—it's about the way you travel, what you consume, how you spend your free time, and how you live. Featuring highlighted Giving Rules throughout the book along with Kelsey's attempt at formulating a Good Person Equation, Where Am I Giving? will help you: Understand the sociology, philosophy, anthropology, and neuroscience of giving Examine types of giving, including microlending, volunteering, donating, ethical consumption, mission trips, voluntourism, and child sponsorship Dive into a nuanced view of the effectiveness of international aid and its intersection with development, politics, and culture Identify ways you can do the most good you can with the talents, time, and resources you have to give Giving isn't about the least we can do, but about the most we can give to others with the gifts we have. kelseytimmerman.com
WHERE CAN YOU DO THE MOST GOOD? Where Am I Giving? is the book for everyone who wants to change the world but isn't sure how. Praise for Where Am I Giving? "...thought-provoking and often entertaining insights into the importance of thinking carefully about where we give." —Peter Singer, professor of bioethics, Princeton University, and founder of The Life You Can Save "A must read for all charity-minded people." —Arun Gandhi, Founder-President, Gandhi Worldwide Education Institute, Rochester, NY "An inspirational book that's also a fascinating travelogue . . . . We'll all be better off if our friends and neighbors read this." —Pauline Frommer, Publisher, Frommer's Guidebooks "...an exciting adventure of a 'How-To' book on giving, volunteering, and generally making the world a better place...hugely entertaining while offering practical, real lessons and guidelines." —Conor Grennan, founder of Next Generation Nepal (NGN), and author of Little Princes "Traveling with Kelsey Timmerman in the pages of Where Am I Giving? will inspire you to do the most good you can do." —Will MacAskill, President of the Centre for Effective Altruism and author of Doing Good Better: Effective Altruism and How You Can Make a Difference
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