As an American, you are part of the global 1%. You have your basic necessities of food, water, shelter, warmth, and then some. When you see the world through that perspective, you realize that you have it good, though you may consider yourself “broke”. “Broke” mentality prevents many of us from giving back to those in need or treating your friends or getting your parents gifts. How long do we have to wait until we can start giving back? What income bracket do we have to reach? Or can we start doing it right now?
My father has this lesson I like to call “The Hundred Dollar Idea”. He encourages me to be generous to our loved ones when we can, especially when they have treated us well. He says,
When people treat you right, treat them right. Don’t worry too much about the money. A hundred dollars won’t make you richer or poorer.
Of course there are situations when a hundred dollars do make a significant difference and one hundred is an arbitrary number. However, this idea makes an important point when it comes to maintaining relationships and contributing to society.
Buy a bagel for a homeless person. Volunteer a few hours to a local non-profit. Surprise your friends and pay for the bill. Send a card or letter back home.
Being generous does not require large amounts of money, as giving time, thought, and energy are other ways of providing value.