Is Giving Other People’s Money Really Generous?

My son came to me recently saying that he wanted to give one of his friends a gift.  It wasn’t an item of necessity.  It wasn’t the friend’s birthday, but my son knew it was something his friend wanted and he wanted to give it to him.

I thought that was a very generous gesture and told him if that is what he wants to do with his money that is great. At that point, the conversation changed. It turns out he wanted me to give his friend the gift.  He wanted to be the one to give the gift to his friend, but he just didn’t want to be the one to pay for it.

I told him I loved that he is thinking of others, but I also asked him if it was really generosity when he wasn’t willing to give his own money?  In the end, we both contributed to the gift.  He was willing to give with his own money, but only when he didn’t have the option to give with someone else’s money.

I couldn’t help but think that this is the real challenge with government.  Politicians are always spending and giving away other people’s money.   It is so easy to sound generous when we aren’t giving our own money.  I’m sure every single one of us could give millions of dollars away of someone else’s money in no time if given the opportunity. But is that really generous?

Generosity is so important.  As individuals, we should have the right to be generous with our own money.  We should teach our children to be generous with their money.

This is a much better approach than the government trying to be generous on our behalf.  After all, if the government gets too generous giving all our money away, we may not have the ability to be generous ourselves.

Individuals will give. Just like my son. At first, he wanted to give using my money, but when that wasn’t an option he gave on his own.

What do you believe about generousity?  Is giving away someone else’s money really being generous?