I had a friend in college who was a devout Christian, and one day he told me how frustrated he felt walking across campus amid people seeking donations for charity. His frustration came from the simple fact that he didn’t have enough money or time to help them all, yet he hated to turn anyone down.
I may not be religious, but I know how he felt. Over the years, I’ve passed on countless requests for help; I’ve supported charities and then pulled my support when money became tight.
Occasionally, I interview someone who became a multimillionaire, then funneled those earnings back into philanthropy. I wonder how many times they had to turn the less fortunate away in their early years, and whether those memories still smart as they write thousand-dollar checks.