I’ve been grappling with this issue for quite some time: can do-gooders/humanitarians enjoy the finer things in life? Is it counter-intuitive to want to do good and do well? When I see friends’ brand new 3 carat diamond engagement rings, I can’t help but think that that money — lots of money – could have been put to better use. Instead of a super-sparkly wrist weight, how many kids could have been fed with that money? How many girls in the developing world could have received an education? As soon as these thoughts go through my head, I have to step back. Everyone has the right to spend their money in the way that they choose, but isn’t there such a thing as excess? I find myself feeling bad for wanting things (e.g. a new MacBook, an iPad, new $80 pairs of shoes, etc., etc.). Despite the fact that I have to work for my money, I feel a pang of guilt when I want to buy something that’s a bit… gratuitous. The question I have come to grapple with is this: can I want to do good in the world (and do so via my career path) and still enjoy some material joys? Should I feel badly for wanting a Boxter over a Prius? Is it really okay for someone working in development to walk into a meeting in Christian Louboutins toting a $400 handbag?
What do you guys think? Can you do good and still feel okay with performing well financially?
Love and confusion from California,