Monthly Archives: July 2010

A creative way to teach kids the joys of giving

Sebastian’s children were between the ages of nine and fourteen when he dreamed up an experiment to teach them the pleasure of generosity — on their own terms. He gave each child $100 and said, “We’d like you to go out into the community and, in whatever way works for you, get this money out there. The only rule is that you have to tell the family what you did with the money.” The oldest left $5 in the library, dropped $5 off a highway overpass, gave $10 to homeless people, dropped $10 on a soccer field, and so on. His biggest gift was $50 to the Appalachian Trail Association. His younger brother gave all of his money to two nonprofits. Our girl, the youngest, wanted to leave money at a playground. I went with her to a bank and she converted the money into small change. Then she walked around the playground, trying to look nonchalant, and left little piles of coins all over the place. Then we hid in the bushes to see what would happen. The kids started finding the money, and they were just delighted. And I engaged Susy in a conversation about what we’d done. There was the thrill of watching kids find the money, and seeing how they were finding all this money brought up for her the issue of trying to be an invisible, or anonymous, donor, but maybe getting caught.

From “Coming into Money: Preparing Your Children for an Inheritance”

Alexander Graham Bell’s great-grandson and heir jailed for spying for Cuba

In July 17 Globe and Mail, an article entitled “U.S. State Department analyst, wife jailed for spying for Cuba,” reports:

“In a sentencing memo to the judge, prosecutors said Mr. Myers, a descendant of Bell, the inventor of the first practical telephone, was a child of wealth and privilege, attended a private boarding school in Pennsylvania and Brown University and obtained a doctorate from Johns Hopkins University. ‘Kendall Myers could have been anything he wanted to be,’ they wrote. ‘He chose to be a Cuban spy.’”

These words, and the story behind them, put in glaring focus attitudes widely held by the majority of North Americans. Read the full article Continue reading