Tuesday, December 2, 2008

helping others & cushions

Today we continued with our conversation about using some of our time & money to help others. I suggested that a starting point might be to determine how much of our time & money we truly neede to accomplish those things that are important for us. I asked them if they thought we could then allocate the remaining to others. P said yes, but A suggested leaving a cushion, "in case things cost more than anticipated".

This led to a good discussion of cushions, e.g., how much extra money to take on a field trip. We discuss the risk of having too much of a cushion, i.e, that we might end up spending more than we need to. But we agreed some amount of cushion was always a good idea.

Back to helping others, I said the problem with devoting our "extra" time & money is that, no matter how much of them we have, we can often find good things to do with all of our time & money. So I suggested establishing a small but consistent "quota" of our time & money that we should always devote to helping others. I also mentioned that helping others helps ourselves as well: we feel good when we've help others. So even from a selfish point of view it remains the smart thing to do...

How big should that quota be? I don't know. We are out of time. Of to school they go...

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