Sunday, March 14, 2010

how to motivate

i read the most interesting article in the new yorker recently and reposted it on facebook curious to hear what others thought. it was about a wealthy family who, after being urged on by their daughter, sold their home and donated 1/2 the profits to a village in ghana. it's a story i find incredibly inspiring. it's also a story that made me look inside and really think about how much of any one thing you really need. 

how many pairs of black shoes do you need? does the $150k car get you where you want to go at the same speed as the $50k car? it's all relative. we're a lucky group and many of us don't seem to know that with all of this luck and fortune comes responsibility. growing up i used to hear that we as jews were expected to donate 10% of our yearly income. 10% seems like a doable amount. 50% of the value of your home seems nothing less than extraordinary. but what an unbelievable example to set for your friends and children. 

so if you think this is a good idea, where do you start? not everyone is going to sell their home. but even a small act goes far. the responses i received to posting the article on facebook varied from why can't more people be like that? or why can't we donate our money where it's needed in our country? i'd like to think we could marry these two comments. it would great if each of us looked around our neighborhood, city, state or country and found an organization doing meaningful work and support it to whatever extent possible. wouldn't it be great to see our country grow stronger so that we could really help other countries.

wwcd: once you decide to get involved, you will find need in many local places


  1. dare i say that it is not about money -- a person can discover how their compassionate action can profoundly change them through giving to others. this has no dollar value, nor does it require material wealth.

  2. Casper - Thought you'd be interested to know re "The Power of Half," Kevin is friend and a terrific guy. He's my sort-of-cousin's brother-in-law (or something like that) ... and he was my client of mine when he and his partner tried to launch a magazine called "Worthwhile." (It didn't last long.) This was after he spent 18 years at the WSJ. Also, just FYI, Kevin and his family live in or around Atlanta (so, just for the record, they are not a wealthy NY family), though he grew up in Brooklyn. Carla xox ps. The website for "Power of Half" is (And I get no commission for this ...)