Tuesday, 11 May 2010

wise man says...

I told a colleague about the event I attended about corporate charity and the wealthy giving their wealth away.    His response was this.   Anyone wishing to prove him wrong let me know.  

Sarah, our 'takes' on affluent people wanting to do good are gleaned from very  different social levels. My wife works in a charity shop, and we always laugh  about the crappy stuff which affluent people bring in- sometimes friends of  ours-  for Cancer Relief to sell. I'm equally guilty when I give her some of my  books. In Rochester terms, the very great majority of people who are comfortably  off have to be fairly driven and aware of looking after Number One to get into  that position- unless they inherit from Mum and Dad and in that case must  constantly tell everybody that they are desperate and down to their last penny,  because they don't want to be disliked or envied for their good fortune.   By contrast, when you go to City accountants, or indeed take a latte in a  Richmond High Street cafe , you are among people who make their large sums more  painlessly and can therefore think grandly and benevolently about the outside  world. In the case of accountants, they can usually grab squillions without even  seeing the faces of their customers, the people actually paying the bills.  But I see most of this FT-style goodwill and generosity as a front really, and  partly an insurance against something terrible happening, like being involved in  a court case or exposed as a paedophile. How benevolent would some of those who spoke be,  though deeply religious,  actually be if you and his family both wanted the same  thing, I wonder? 

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