I've been thinking about money again. I guess I do that a lot these days, given the way The Power of Half forces conversations about such things.
Take, for instance, our event in Seattle last week, in which Warren Etheredge, the terrific interviewer who hosted Hannah and me, prodded the audience at the end of our event: "I've never done this before but it feels right, given The Power of Half: This event is co-sponsored by the Children's Trust Foundation. So tonight please reach into your wallets, pull out half you money and donate it to the Foundation at the back of the room."
It was, of course, an audacious request. Some in the audience followed through; others took out less than half; still others walked past the Foundation's table altogether.
In general, I've found that I have never missed money I've given away. Never. Not once. And of course, our family's experience of connectedness as we gave away half the proceeds from our house is the main theme of the book.
But still we feel challenged. When journalists write about how we "gave away half of everything," we hasten to correct them -- we gave away half of one thing, our house, I email. Indeed, we live well, take vacations, eat out. And we sometimes find ourselves criticized for not giving away more, for not being generous enough. And it makes us think.
A century ago, Andrew Carnegie said, "The man who dies thus rich dies disgraced." And we all know the New Testament verse: "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." (Matthew 19:24)
So, we wrestle with how well to live versus how much to give. My guess is that it will be a life struggle, one with no correct answer but plenty of gray area.
I'd love to hear what you think. What do you think of Etheredge's challenge? Would you have taken out half your cash? Is affluence wrong? If we die with a bunch of money, have we been less creative about how we use our resources during our lifetimes?