Who are the most charitable people and countries in the world? It’s a complex question because charity can be measured so many ways. (The U.S. Navy rushed in and set up massive medical support and provision of water after the giant Indonesian Christmas-day quake in 2004, something that probably no one but the U.S. Navy could have done; it probably saved thousands of lives. But how does one measure something like that?)
Nevertheless such measures have been set up and much can be learned from them — see this list of the top ten countries in charitable giving. But in looking at the chart one of the things I found most interesting is something that is not immediately obvious: Of the top ten countries, the top five are English-speaking former British colonies, and the Brits themselves are #8 on the list, meaning the British and their national offspring make up most of the list.
Amazing, isn’t it? With numbers like this it’s beyond coincidence — there’s something in the British tradition and resultant national cultures that puts them head and shoulders above the rest of the world in their willingness to give to others. Whatever it is, it’s a noble thing, important to note and interesting to ponder.
[I’m compelled to note that I myself am not a native of any of those countries, nor even a native English speaker, though I live in an English-speaking country now. But credit belongs where credit is due, and I think we all owe a doff of the hat and a bit of recognition to those people and countries so willing to give so much of themselves for others.]