(Brooke’s generosity Blog)
I am richer than I think. I read an article by Melissa Spas last week. She writes for the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. This is a centre designed to help grow generosity. This is based at Perdue University. This is the only school solely for the study and teaching of philanthropy.
Established in 2012, the school was named for one of the great philanthropic families in honour of their generations of generosity and leadership.
Melissa challenged me to do something. She said this: “how do you feel about your income?” Write down your answer. Then check this website, and then answer the question again. I did this. My answer changed. It changed a lot.
I am asking you to consider doing with I did. How do you feel about your income?
Put your yearly income (this should be on your mind because it is income tax time.) into the website: www.globalrichlist.com
Now how do you feel?
The Global Rich List allows any person to estimate their affluence relative to the other 7 billion people in the world. It is certainly humbling to know that my monthly salary could staff up a medical clinic in Malawi for a year. In one minute I earn as much as some labourers make in a full day’s work.
This perspective reminds me that I am privileged and I am wealthy.
There is poverty here in Canada and in Waterloo Region. I see this every day. There are pockets of extreme poverty in our country that brings me to feel shame. I believe that we can do better.
I am finding that many of my lessons today come from people a lot younger than I am. I follow the lives of the young people from our church and see the choices they make. Many, many of our young people are making a difference in our world. They say out loud, that their church experiences and relationships helped them to become the people they are today. I find this both humbling and gratifying. Many are working for justice in our world.
Our faith informs our life journeys. We at Knox invest heavily in children and youth programs. Jesus demands that we nurture faith development and do education about justice issues. I am receiving real inspiration from young people deeply committed to changing the world.
We see the ways in which they will shape the future, and we are eager to form, encourage, and empower them in the practices of faith.
Our youth have dreams and commitment to action, for a world that is safer, healthier, and more just. As they are transformed by their faith, so are we who make their journey possible.
Stewardship is caring for all resources entrusted to us. Generosity as a discipline and virtue invites us to be changed, even as we work for change in the world. I am grateful to God for our growing generosity.