Generosity – Iraq, Myanmar & the USA

Updated: Dec 28, 2020


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It is not too cold up here in Churchill, Manitoba. I have just returned from a day of admiring the arctic environment and of course several polar bears. Upon returning to our lodge, I skimmed the news and saw an interesting headline on BBC: Which country is the most generous? Good question!

It turns out Iraqis are the most likely to help a stranger and the Burmese (of Myanmar) give the most financially. Wow. And, by the way, my dear American friends come second!

So let’s deconstruct this as best we can. The source is the //www.cafonline.org/about-us/publications/2016-publications/caf-world-giving-index-2016; Charities Aid Foundation and their methodology is reasonably scientific. Their analysis is quite strong.

Myanmar culture is grounded in a monastic tradition that requires asking for help. I am entirely unqualified to discuss this, aside from being vaguely aware that humility is a pillar of Buddhism. Quite easy to respect.

As for Iraq. Wow. I did once set foot in Iraq – crossing the border with Kurdish friends in eastern Turkey. I cannot say much, except the general consensus is that Arabic culture is extremely hospitable. How can we not think of our Iraqi friends given all they have endured?

This is not a place for a broader political discussion, but rather a moment to reflect upon the real-life humanity that many people manage, despite – or in spite of – so many challenges. Libyans also rated very highly!

And now to my friends in the United States of America. I love your country, I love you and I know just how generous you are. Number two is very impressive. Hey, there is always room to improve, but I think you are already great – there is no ‘again’ in the equation.

Honestly, I want to go on and on about how much I love the USA and how many American friends I have. Peruse my USA blogs for a quick idea of how much I like that country.

Australia was third for helping strangers. The southern content is a proud country, but kind, friendly and warm.

The report is interesting. So much more may be unpacked from the study, but let us take this moment to reflect upon our friends in Myanmar, Iraq, Libya and the States. Building community does start at a human level.


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