A funny thing happened to me a couple of months ago: I gave a stranger ten bucks to finish his art project.
I can’t even remember how I found that Project Springfield page now — a link from someone on Twitter, maybe? — but as I watched an entire image from The Simpsons was constructed out of tiny beads, I thought, damn, that’s really cool. and if I kick in ten bucks, I get a Simpsons guy made out of those beads for myself? well… yeah, okay, I’ll do it.
So, I pledged $10 and waited to see if the entire project would end up getting funded. (If a Kickstarter project reaches its funding goal, then they get the funding — if they fall short, they don’t get anything.)
In the end, Project Springfield raised $900 — almost double its $500 goal — and, even though my ten dollars was only about 1% of that total, I still felt really good about it. And for a day or two, if the project would cross my mind, I would think about what sort of things I could have spent ten bucks on (a few secondhand books, maybe a lipstick) but I never managed to think of any thing could have made me happier than knowing I helped a guy finish his crazy art project.
As it turns out, my story just confirms what scientists already knew: spending money on experiences makes us happier than buying stuff. Would I otherwise remember now what I spent that ten bucks on? A lipstick would be somewhere in the bottom of my makeup case. Books would have been read (probably) and would now be taking up shelf space.
Which brings me to the Kickstarter project I’m promoting now: SCRATChbread’s D.O.U.G.H. project.
No pressure or anything, but… it is my birthday tomorrow and I can’t really think of any gift I’d like more.