If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time (the first post is from April ’07), you realize that my main topic has been making money online. I’ve written about a few other subjects, and some posts have been more closely tied to the subject of money-making than other posts. So you shouldn’t be surprised that today’s post might appear to be a major departure from the subject of accumulating money – but in fact it might be one of the most important posts to ever appear on this site.
Not many weeks ago, I read a little book that impressed me greatly – which means a lot, since I’m a book addict. The good ones tend to stick out, and this one was good – it’s called The Top 10 Distinctions Between Millionaires and the Middle Class. It took me a couple of hours (tops) to read, cover-to-cover. It’s a brief, simple book and was written by what appears to be a simple but good man – who happens to be a millionaire.
If you were to distill this book down to it’s vital pieces, it would end up being a ten-point list. I won’t get into all ten points here (that’s for another day), but there is one particular point he makes in his book that applies now more than ever. It is one of the most glaring distinctions between “those who never make much money” and “those who enjoy significant gains in wealth” and it might sound counter-intuitive…but it apparently is a cornerstone of not only gaining wealth but of good karma. It’s simple: giving to others. To use the author’s words…
“Millionaires believe they must be generous.”
Now, my question is: What do you believe?
Do you believe in generosity? Do you have the same millionaire belief about giving? Or…are you a real-life, actual Scrooge? Seriously. What are you, and what do practice? Because if you want to become a millionaire…you should do what the millionaires do.
Now… let me tell you a story.
There was a little boy, and he liked to play. Just like any four year old, he loved his mommy and daddy and he even loved his brothers and sisters – all five of them! Because he had a good family, life was full of learning and fun and happiness and love. And the little boy was full of laughter.
But one day the mommy and daddy noticed something unusual about the little boy. Their son wasn’t acting like himself – he wasn’t the happy little man he usually was. He wasn’t laughing as much as he used to.
“It looks like he’s got a bad sinus infection,” they thought, like most parents would think. But the little boy had something far more serious than a sinus infection. They soon brought him to the hospital to see a doctor.
The doctors knew they had to test the Little boy, Kendrick, and find out exactly what type of illness he had. They performed a CAT scan. When they got the results, the doctors flew him to Cook’s Children’s Hospital in Texas. The doctors at that hospital subjected Kendrick to more tests. They performed an MRI. Then, they performed surgery.
Kendrick Little, the little boy, was very ill. The doctors – some of the very best at what they do – found (and removed most of) something called an Intrinsic Brain Stem High-grade Glioma. It’s a very serious cancer of the brain stem, and in Kendrick’s case it was graded at a 3 or 4 on a scale of 1-4.
These doctors say that Kendrick has about a year to live.
This is where my story ends, for the moment. And there’s something I didn’t tell you: Kendrick is now five years old. He just had his birthday. In the hospital.
So, dear reader, you may be asking a question like: “Why did Shawn share the story of Kendrick Little on this blog?” or “Why isn’t this article about online marketing or making money?” or “Why did this guy write such a sad story that made me cry?”
The answers (in order) are: 1) Kendrick’s dad, Allen Little, is a friend of mine – and I care about this family deeply. 2) This article is actually about the concept of giving, which does relate to the theme of this blog. 3) And I wrote a story that I can only hope made someone cry…so they react – and give some money to the Little family. Yes, I know I tried to manipulate you and pull at your heart strings. But I am serious about giving to them, because they have a serious financial need right now.
I am so serious in fact, that I am going to start off what I hope is a trend of giving by sending the family a certain amount of money via PayPal, tonight. I won’t tell you readers exactly how much – except to say I was planning on buying an Xbox 360. But I figure that since the dad hasn’t been able to work for a few weeks, and his kids deserve a good Christmas, I’d like to give them that money. And I plan to give another chunk of change to them after Christmas, as well. (So there goes the Rock Band 2 package I was planning to get.)
I’ve known Allen Little for years, and he is one of the most giving people I’ve ever met. So I don’t feel bad at all about giving to him, his family, and especially little Kendrick. In fact, I feel honored to be able to do it. I believe I should be generous, in fact. And I hope you do, too.
If you want to read more about Kendrick Little, or if you want to send the Little family your regards or Holiday wishes, here are the two places to do so…
Oh…and back to the premise with which I started this post: yes, the book is excellent and most millionaires put a priority on giving. And who knows, maybe what goes around comes around. But generosity is a good thing to practice whether it makes you a millionaire or not. So do what the millionaires do – and give to others.