In todays New York Times I read an article about young philanthropists who have, in their late teens or twenties, inherited millions of dollars but then decided to give away a large portion of it to charity. Interesting enough in itself, but one part of the article in particular stood out to me.
Tyrone Boucher, 25, donated his six-figure trust fund to charity. Part of his motivation stemmed from concern about the growing gap between the rich and the poor. When he explained this to his father, the response he received was "Tyrone, we're not really rich. There are people who have multiple homes and private jets." Tyrone's response was "You're talking about your friends who are in the top 1%, and we're in the the top 5%."
Tyrone seemed to have a more accurate perspective than his father. Their exchange once again reminded me of how easy it is to compare ourselves to those who are doing better than us. Perhaps it's the American way -- part of the American dream or something -- but it's so deceiving. Of course there are people that are doing better than us financially. But we are doing better than so many more.
I want my heart to be opened to those who are more needy than I. I want my eyes to be opened to ways I can be part of a solution. I'm very provoked by those who have chosen to give away their millions. I too want to be someone who gives away her wealth... God willing, right down to her last mite... not someone who feigns poverty as an excuse to live selfishly.