Chapter 17. Giving Back

In Part I, you and Stacey looked at some of the beliefs and scripts that contribute to our fears about money. Remember Lynne Twist's "Three Myths of Scarcity" from Chapter 5?

  • Myth 1: There's not enough to go around.

  • Myth 2: More is better.

  • Myth 3: That's just the way it is ... there are haves and have-nots.

In addition, we tend to associate money with security and protection, despite some of the awful things we've seen happen to really rich people. Combine these fears, insecurities, and the way the myths play out in many of our behaviors, and it's easy to see why a lot of people have a hard time parting with their money for anything other than their own needs.

But then, there's human nature: That part of the human spirit that inspires people to run into burning buildings to help others, without a second thought to their own safety. That part of the human spirit that prompted Americans to give $260.3 billion to charity in 2005 (according to Giving USA). That part of the human spirit that raised $3.5 billion for the relief efforts for hurricanes Katrina and Rita (as of February 20, 2006, according the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University).

There's no charity in the world that doesn't benefit from money. You should give as much as you think you can, and then give a little more. You can also, however, make equally significant contributions with your time. There are even some unique opportunities to reap benefits in your personal finances from your philanthropic ...

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