The Money Experiment: The People I Avoid
I'm constantly telling my guitar students that the thing that they don't want to practice is probably exactly what they should practice. If only they would follow that rule, I tell them, they could be fantastic. As I look down the barrel of this money experiment, I've decided to do the same. Reading through the first chapter and perusing the potential experiments, I caught myself on the final experiment saying, "yea.... lets do a different one." Busted. The funny thing is that my opening experiment of intestinal choice isn't about money, it's about people.
The experiment, in a nutshell, is to spend time with someone you know needs someone, anyone, to talk and listen to them. I started making a list of names, but it was only an act denial. My gut reaction, the reason that I didn't want to take this particular experiment in the first place was because of who I had already imagined needed this experiment the most.
So experiment number one will be buying a couple cups of coffee and resisting the urge to drink them as fast as possible.
Last spring I read, Same Kind of Different As Me the story of a rather wealthy art dealing couple Ron and Debbie Hall who meet Denver, a rage filled homeless man living in Dallas. The beauty of the story is that the immense wealth of the couple is useless to help Denver overcome himself. They are forced to resort to a selfless and persistant love, a love that transforms him.
We are unfortunately accustomed to throwing money at things. Sponsoring children, donating food to a pantry or homeless shelter, texting $10 to Haiti aid (by the way only about 0.10 of every dollar actually made it to the people who needed it). These things are probably good ideas, but remember that the primary need of every person on earth is relational not financial. What's the point of being alive if we have no reason to live?
The most important resource you have to give to anyone is your time.