This post was inspired by a conversation between a friend of mine and her college age daughter. My friend owns a rental property and one day, her daughter suggested that she should not collect rent from her tenant right now. It took my friend by surprise, and there is so much to unpack from this spark of thought.
The first thing I see is human kindness, the desire of one human being to help another in challenging times. That is pure beauty and the essence of what makes the world go around.
I also see a perfect setting for a mother-daughter dialog where love and money occupy the same space. Love meets Money by opening up to each other. What do I mean by that? Let’s explore a little.
Generosity and the desire to help is an expression of love. In order to have the maximum impact, it is important to know exactly what the other person needs. In this particular case, the tenant may or may not need assistance in rent payments if he is a salary employee and his job has not been impacted by the shelter-in-place. The first step in giving is to find out where exactly help is needed, and that can usually be accomplished by asking questions and doing some research. Perhaps, the act of help can be applied in a different way (i.e. maybe the tenant needs help with childcare while he’s working at home) or in a different place (i.e. maybe her tenant is fine, but someone else may be in dire need of assistance). This can be an interesting family conversation at the dinner table: as a family, how can we help and contribute in the current situation? This conversation would validate her daughter’s feelings and help her feel being heard and understood.
On the other side of giving is our our ability to sustain our own stability. When my kids were young and we taught them about philanthropy, they got it and they quickly started giving away everything they had. We had to give them a second lesson. When you give everything away all at once, it’s ONE ACT of kindness. If you keep a portion and learn how to grow them, you can KEEP ON giving, creating a continuous stream of giving. In my friend’s case, if she were to offer her tenant deferred rent payments, she would need to first make sure that she can ensure sustainable cash flow positions in her own household.
When Love, Money and Compassion all working together synchronously, we will find many different ways in which we can give to one another. May this pandemic bring out the best of us!
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