The Daily ReTORt

My photo
I'm no longer posting here. Visit my new blog -> WWW.THEDAILYRETORT.COM

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Importance of Giving - Part 3

“Money never made a man happy yet, nor will it. The more a man has, the more he wants. Instead of filling a vacuum, it makes one.” - Benjamin Franklin

This is a great quote that succinctly sums up the problem with money - namely you can never have enough of it due to our human inclination toward greed and avarice. I believe that the only way to break the back of greed in your life is by giving away a portion of your funds.

Taking a step back for minute, it’s important to note that the only unrenewable resource we have is time. In other words, we’ve got a certain number of days, weeks, years to walk this earth and then it's over. During our life, each of us exchanges at least eight hours a day of that most precious resource (time) for money, which we’ve earned on our respective jobs.

Bottom line, we trade our life for money every day.

Perhaps that’s why we’re so inclined to “hoarding and keeping” our individual finances rather than “sowing and reaping.” Despite that personal reluctance to give, we need to be more willing to help each other. Otherwise, it seems that the alternative default is more government programs and interventions.

I would rather see local churches, shelters and communities helping their area neighbors that are in desperate need instead of a displaced bureaucracy in Washington, DC.

Ultimately, giving begins with each of us on an individual basis, as evidenced by this Bible scripture in Acts 20:35 “…we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

There are a lot of worthwhile causes and charities you could give to. If you don’t know where to start, start with your local house of worship or a local chapter for one of these reputable organizations:

If you don’t have disposable income to donate, then try volunteering some of your time or your skills with a local group that could benefit. Your contribution - regardless if it’s time, talent or money - to virtually any legitimate charity or non-profit organization will have a positive impact on someone else’s life.

And who knows, the life you change could be your own.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Very nicely thought out and put together!

  3. Ash, as always I greatly appreciate you taking the time to read these posts and comment. You could be doing 100 other things, but I'm honored that you choose to stop by here. Thanks.

  4. But doesn't that mean time and money are fungible? I can buy time with money. If I have money, I can pay someone else to do the things that are keeping me from life. I could pay someone (or several someones, given sufficient money) to do all the things that keep me from life. I can pay someone to clean my house, mow the lawn, remove debris from the gutters, freeing me to play with my children - or pursue whatever other activities I find meaningful.

    So, in a sense, can't I buy more life?

  5. Andrew, so good to hear from you - I'm honored by the follow!

    In my opinion, I believe that money and time are exchangeable, but not necessarily interchangeable.

    So in answer to your question I would say "Yes" and "No." Taking your argument a step further, if Warren Buffet earns $50 billion - more than can be spent in several lifetimes - hasn't he achieved a degree of immortality? Possibly.

    In an intangible sense he has achieved immortality since his philanthropic legacy ($30B donation to the Gates Foundation) will certainly outlive him; however, in the literal sense - his bodily life functions will ultimately cease thanks to laws of entropy.

    In fact, the only thing that will outlive him (beyond his childre) is what he's given away, so I would say philanthropy secures immortality rather than inactive funds.

    I think the band Kansas sung it best (albeit grammatically awkwardly), "...and all your money, won't another minute buy."

    Really good to hear from you!

  6. Once again, I'm happily stunned by the fresh insight on topics that I've often thought through!

    I agree with you, that in a sense, we are indeed trading our "life" for money.
    IMO, it's another reason to attain to the goal of that delicate balance of having enough money, but not too much.

    That balance is squarely in the crosshairs of the media's unapologetic bombardment of the masses with the "spoils of materialism" (Dave Ramsey calls it "stuff-itis".)

    In contrast to the media, the Scriptures speak of asking God for enough to not curse him (out of lack), but not too much so as to forget Him...:-)

    Also, I love that the book of Proverbs is LOADED with wisdom regarding money, and being generous and giving.


  7. @Bruce, great perspective as always! I agree that we Americans have a chronic case of
    stuff-itis and a proven treatment is a steady therapy of giving ["Give to...and call me in the morning," as opposed to "Take two...."]