Friday, January 29, 2010

State of the You

Dedicated to our neighbor and friend Phil, who is battling cancer. We wish him a speedy and complete recovery.

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Today, a hard-to-believe true story and a question.

The True Story:

Imagine this scene. Father picks up his daughter after a sleepover. They're driving home. It's a street they've both traveled on hundreds of times. There is nothing remarkable, nothing new, no surprises.

They stop at a traffic light that they've both stopped at thousands of times.

It's a long light - a full minute. In little-girl time, that's like 10 minutes. She's looking around.

On one side of the car, on the sidewalk, she sees a beggar, a homeless person with a cardboard sign asking for food.

On the other side of the car, she sees a fancy black Mercedes.

You can almost hear the gears turning inside her head.

"Dad," she says in her innocent little-girl voice, "If that man had a little less nice car, then he could give the money to that man to get food."

The light turned green and they drive on. The little girl does not forget her idea. She starts to nag her parents about imbalanced access to resources.

Mom finally asks her, "What do you want us to do, sell our house?"

In reading this story, you probably understand that Mom's question is rhetorical.

Little girls don't always get rhetoric.

To make a long, incredible story short and incredible, they do end up selling the house.

They downsize to a house that is so small, the individual members of the family can't easily hide from each other. They're forced to interact.

Which is a good thing, because they have to decide how to spend the tzedaka money.

In the end, they donate a LOT of money to feed hungry people, and inspire others to do the same.

That's the story. I told you it was going to be hard to believe.

They have written a book about it, here's the link.

(use this link and Amazon kicks back a nickel to support this blog)

And they have a site about it here.

So here's the Question for your table: Could you do it? Could you consciously cut back on 1 or more areas of materialism in your life and increase the amount of money or time you give to helping others?

Many people don't give as much as they could because they are afraid of not having enough.

By the way, if you're nice enough to read this blog, I'm assuming that you already the kind of person who is helping others.

I'm talking about an increase of 1% or more.

Shabbat Shalom

“It is more agreeable to have the power to give than to receive.” - Churchill

1 comment:

arnie draiman said...

nice - thanks for writing it up.

arnie draiman