I try to be a giving person and to donate whenever possible. But recently I realized that I apply a subconscious method of evaluating who to give my hard-earned dollars to. I realized that not all beggars are created equal and that I use two instantaneous filters to evaluate my act of giving:
- Need. Need is the obvious filter for triggering a donation and is determined by a collection of different observable traits. These characteristics include how the beggar is dressed, the beggar's cleanliness, the begging-story (written on a paper or spoken), the beggar's physical state (e.g. weight), etc.
- Likeability. Likeability is the less obvious filter. Likeability is boosted by a coherent and logical verbal case for donation - including tone and passion. A non-threatening approach and appearance always helps increase the likeability factor. A musical and/or physical performance also usually boosts likeability.
Although it might seem odd and potentially cold that even the act of giving has a logical method, it does point to the fact that most decisions in life are far from random.