A famous actor once observed, “Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.” As humans, our emotions and motivations are largely connected to the way we spend money. A recent study from the University of Warwick in the U.K. revealed people feel happier spending money than making it.* We have a natural penchant for frivolity.
The good news is, if you’re holding this bulletin, you’re most likely someone who understands how to give generously and with purpose. Your connection with our organization reveals you’ve taken the time to align your giving with your values. Do your kids and grandkids know how to do the same? Here are three ways you can transfer good values and decision-making skills to the next generation:
Write it down. We pick up messages through subtle or unspoken cues, but the clearest way to communicate one’s thoughts is to put them in writing. Compose letters for your loved ones that share personal stories, lessons you’ve learned, and loving words that explain how you feel about them. You could also draft an “ethical” will which adds a personal heartfelt dimension to your estate plan. Be clear about what you want them to know.
Do you have funds earmarked for charitable giving? Invite your loved ones to share input on where you give, then donate together. Do you volunteer time with a cause you’re passionate about? Invite them into an afternoon of service together. By demonstrating your personal values in action, they’ll have a roadmap to do the same.
Make yourself available. The most meaningful investment you can make in the life of your children or grandchildren is yourself. Be a reliable and trustworthy source. Be generous with your time, your presence, and your listening ear. Your love will speak volumes and set a powerful example.
Don’t miss out on your opportunity to share the most important things. Inspire the next generation to live and give with purpose.
*Gordon D.A. Brown, John Gathergood. Published 8 April 2019; Consumption Changes, Not Income Changes, Predict Changes in Subjective Well-Being. Economics, Social Psychological and Personality Science.