There's an expression that more is caught than taught. This is especially true when it comes to generosity. Generosity is more than just donating money, it includes being generous with your thoughts, words, money, time, things, influence and attention.
How can we promote generosity to the next generation and how can we be inspired by our children and grandchildren? One way to be more intentional is to share generosity stories in family gatherings to promote the vision, values and story of our families so it lives on to the next generation. These stories can help bring a family together in unexpected ways. Family members may learn something about each other that they never knew, and it may create a renewed appreciation for each other (e.g. grandparent to grandchild, grandchild to grandparent).
In April, I had the opportunity to attend Edmonton Christian High School grade 12 “Passion Project” event. Students specifically chose something they could “get into” and were challenged to solve a real problem, for a real need for a real audience. Projects ranged from providing technical support for their church’s worship services to caroling during Christmas time to baking and distributing cookies to make someone’s day. I was skeptical at first, but these students were making a difference and likely inspiring their family members and community to be more generous. Generosity inspires generosity.
A model for generosity is the acronym MEE:
- Model – When you model generosity to your children, they will likely follow.
- Encourage – Encourage them to give. Show them opportunities for giving and talk about how and why you give. Try not to force giving.
- Engage – Engage in conversation, share stories.
This Planner’s Corner was inspired by Kingdom Advisors’ February 2019 Study Group. Kingdom Advisors is a network of over 2,000 North American advisors who promote Biblical principles in their practice.
Jim Hummel, CFP® CKA®