Quick Hits: Give responsibly. Shut down the negative voice. Ethiopian kids with tablets.
One of the benefits to getting your finances under control is the opportunity to give generously. However, your giving is a resource that needs to be managed, too. You can’t just give to every organization with their hand out without checking them out first. Tony Morgan recently published a list of ten things that people will want to know before they will give to your church, but I think you can turn them around to make great guidelines for the giver to use before donating to any charitable organization. How will your giving make a difference? How will the resources you give be used? What is the vision of the organization? How can you get further involved? How transparent is the organization? Don’t give blindly.
Pessimism has always tempted me. Out loud, I’d use the word “realist” but, deep down, I had made Murphy my patron saint. It’s taken a lot of work to change my mindset, and to recognize, by and large, our world and my life just keep getting better, not worse. The biggest part of that has been to shut down that fear-filled, negative voice before it can convince me otherwise. Give yourself a chance to see what’s good around you. There aren’t boogeymen around every corner.
How’s this for an education experiment? The One Laptop Per Child project wanted figure out ways to encourage the children of countries with little or no education infrastructure to start teaching themselves. So, they delivered some boxes of tablets to two villages in Ethiopia, taped shut, with no instructions whatsoever. Within five months, the children had begun to learn English and even circumvented some of the security settings on the tablets. How could we implement something like that here in America? Education has to get beyond memorizing facts and procedures, and move on to inspiring children to constantly be learning.