Mike Beversluis

Monday, November 13, 2006

Micro-Loans

Cool Tool on Micro-loans:

This year the father of micro-finance and founder of the Grameen Bank won a Nobel Peace Prize for his work in inventing and promoting micro-loans in the developing world. A micro-loan is as little as a few hundred dollars invested into a one-person business with minimal qualifications. That tiny borrowed amount can launch a vegetable stand, repair shop, or bicycle taxi -- a living in other words. As each micro-loan is repaid (and most are), the effects of that small goodness are amplified and leveraged by being loaned out and invested again and again. Micro-loans are the world's only perpetual motion machines.

I have a story that is not going to reflect well on me, but when I was a kid I was given donations in my name for Christmas to something similar to these micro-loan organizations and it made me feel bad. I felt bad because I wanted a toy or something cool and instead I got a certificate of donation in my name, and then I felt bad because I was so selfish. God loves a cheerful giver, and one out of two doesn't really cut it.

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3 Comments:

  • There is an interesting debate on cheerful giving in "The three musketeers". If I remember well, it was Athos and Aramis arguing: the point (porbably by Aramis)is the one you are presenting here, and the counterpoint (by Athos?)is that if you don't feel any sadness for giving, it means that you are giving something you don't care for.

    By Blogger John Travolta Sardus, at 13 November, 2006 14:28  

  • True, but it depends on what you consider to be rightfully yours. I think that's the Biblical POV.

    Plus, The Three Musketeers is one of the best action-novels ever. There's a new translation of it out this year.

    By Blogger Mike Beversluis, at 13 November, 2006 20:59  

  • Would this happen to be the Christmas of the farm animals to Africa?

    In that instance I remember being underwhelmed, but since it was a gift from the distant grandparents and I was only four (?) I don't think I was very upset, lending creedance to the arguement that value effects giving and/or the impression of.

    Though reflecting on who I was growing up I remember a distinct impression of being a real dick.
    Not that much has changed...

    By Anonymous Adam, at 13 November, 2006 23:01  

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