Today I went to sign up for GitTip, just to be able to explore the site, and have an account ready should I decide to tip someone. If you're not familiar, GitTip is a "tipping" site where you can give money to people who you think deserve it, and receive money from those who want to tip you. Most of the people who get tipped are people who regularly contribute to open source software or knowledge, but really, could be anyone.
But when I signed up, and started the process of completing my profile, I was presented with this stumper:
This is one tough question to answer. Unless you regularly contribute to something that is widely used or read, how do you answer this? I thought, "well, I try to be nice to people whenever I can. I recycle. I bike to work sometimes. I volunteer when I get an opportunity. I support public radio." But why would anyone tip me for these things? Aren't these just the things you're supposed to do?
Does it make me a bad person if I don't do these things? Does it mean I'm making the world better because I do? The road is paved with good intentions.
One of my driving life goals is to contribute to a project or company that gives back, and does some good in the world - makes it a better place. Intention isn't enough. Hopefully I'll make a difference one day.