And it has two sides: one, instead of getting frustrated when I can’t lend the $1000 that one needs, I just pitch in the little that I can, and I know there are friends who’ll back me up :)
Two, having a common goal with the people I admire makes me feel good :) It’s like sitting next to your favorite author in an airplane, spending time with your favorite artist in a coffee shop, or sharing a cab with your favorite athlete (whichever fits you best ;)). Reading their posts and hearing their views brighten my day and are sources of inspiration. 5 years ago
to everyone who participated in this!
I learned a lot, and will keep on making kiva loans! 6 years ago
But I have a horror of leaving this world someday without having made a difference in it.
Every loan at kiva.org touches someone’s life in a way that may reverberate in ways I cannot know. The ultimate beneficiaries of the Novissi Novissi water project will be the people in the village who have clean water to drink. Little babies who might die without access to clean water will survive. Who knows who or what those babies will grow up to be?
I’ve made loans to several snack-shop guys. I know those little places, and they do more than sell food. They are often where conversations happen, where connections are made. The snack shop guy knows his neighbors in an intimate way: he knows what snacks they like. Maybe an important conversation will happen over a couple of tamales, who knows?
I’ve made loans to women who sell office supplies, and people with Internet cafes. How will those loans ripple out into the communities? What difference will it make in that woman’s life that she can have a successful small business?
Best $25 I ever spent, each one of them. 6 years ago
Ambition and hope. It’s in their short statements on Kiva. See for example:
“Matayo would like to adopt new farming technology to boost his agricultural yield. He needs to be able to meet the financial responsibility of educating the nine children who are all in school and to maintain his family but he lacks the capital;”
“My goal is to increase my inventory of fabrics to have a greater variety, so I can make different types of suits and dresses for my clients. With the extra earnings, I can feed my family, give my daughter a good education and can buy another sowing machine;”
“He wants to take a loan to buy a new ice cream machine, to build furniture for his shop and buy other materials to improve his business. He hopes to support his family better and improve their life in the future.”
Reading through their simple, neat, and clearcut philosophy of life is inspiring. It does “attitude readjustment” (borrowed the term ;)) for me. Making loans is nothing but cheering their ambition and hopes. 6 years ago
“Practice random acts of kindness?”
Nothing more random than hitting the random selector on kiva.org and coming up with a soul on the other side of the planet, who heretofore you’d never known or thought of, and yet has the same struggles that you do, though they may be in a different language, with different particulars, in a different culture. We all got the same flesh under our skin, the same fears, wars, and flights in our hearts.
What do I get back by tossing random loans into the universe? I stop thinking about me. I embrace the Buddhist notion of seamlessness, that we’re all swimming in the same pool, and it’s not for me to say who deserves and who doesn’t. Just just take what you have and give it forth, without reservation, without righteousness…for when you lose that righteousness, I find, when you stop delineating and instead let go, the sharp edges of things fall away…
Life is only heavy when you are stuck in the gravity of your own orbit. But if you free yourself from that, if your expression is outward, toward others, rather than inward, then you achieve a sort of escape velocity from the heaviness of your own life; you are emancipated…
Big thoughts in a little space about little loans for other people. But isn’t that the point? To go big with your soul? 6 years ago
3. Periodically in my life I’ve been on the receiving end of raw goodness: someone took me in, or helped me out, or gave me a critical piece of information, or gave me something I needed, without looking for a return.
Kiva.org is one of the ways I make sure the good stuff doesn’t stop with me. As Todd says, karma. 6 years ago
Because it helps me feel connected. It’s a strange feeling (in a good way) to share the same goal with someone else; the goal to make the life better for a person, a family, a community. They do all the hard work, and we send them little tokens of support.
I made a little map (inspired by this entry) of the people I’m connected to on Kiva, and just looking at the map makes me happy :) (the plan is to color it all… one day) 6 years ago
Just over ten years ago I was in a very bad place financially. I had made some bad choices and had invested in what turned out to be a scam and lost thousands of dollars. Of course the credit card companies were more than happy to offer me opportunities to get myself deeper in debt, and I found myself at $185K in debt. I was really struggling to just make minimum payments and was considering bankruptcy.
I wanted to pay off my debt, but I wasn’t sure how I was even going to make rent. I approached someone for help, and they lent me some money. That chunk of funds helped me get started on paying off my debt. I was able to pay my rent as well as organize my debt utilizing a credit counseling organization. It took me many years to pay off all that debt, but if it hadn’t been for that initial loan and faith in me, I would never have been able to improve myself.
So what do I get from giving to Kiva? I get to do for these people what someone once did for me. I get to give them that helping hand up, so that they can improve their lives like I did with the loan that I received. Whether I ever see the money return to me or not, I know that I’ve made a difference in each of these people’s lives by showing that I have faith in them. And maybe someday, they’ll pass the good karma on to someone else. 6 years ago
1. I have a religious obligation to give to relieve poverty. Our tradition teaches that the highest form of giving is to enable someone to support him or herself. Kiva.org is a wonderful vehicle for that kind of giving, so the first thing I get out of making those loans is that I have a good way to fulfill my religious obligation.
2. Often, it makes me feel good to help someone else.
Can’t think of the others, but I’ll post ‘em as I think of ‘em. 6 years ago
This post from Pscheuring gave me an idea: I’d be really interested in learning what 43Thingsters get BACK from making loans via kiva.org.
I’m intrigued by the idea of using it for stress management (if you haven’t read that post, click on the link and check it out).
I’ll be leaving (on my honeymoon!) in a little over a week, but I’m going to leave this goal on my list for a while and see what information and ideas we can share about this.
I hope others will share what they have learned. And if you are wondering what kiva.org is, click the link and find out! 6 years ago