“Thirty-two years ago, I was in my final year of law school at a well-known ivy league university. My background was right in the center of the middle class while the majority of the other students were from wealthy families. I had inherited a little over five million from my grandfather when he had died six years previously but it wasn’t something that I let people know.
We lower to middle-class students stuck together and, in our final year, even separated into smaller cliques based upon our chosen paths after graduation.
In my particular clique, there was a really nice, but quiet, guy from my home state. Over the years he had become a good friend. He lived far from school near my apartment and I had been picking him up for a long time and driving to the train station to get into the city. We had similar taste in music. He had a scholarship that paid a good portion of his tuition but he had to work to pay for the remainder of his tuition, living expenses, books, etc.
Given his shyness, his choice of specialty was a surprise. And working during the third year? I didn’t see it – and neither did he as he told me one morning that he was dropping out. He couldn’t afford the money or the time to complete the final year.
I deposited enough cash into his checking account so that he could afford the final year comfortably. I had a collection of his checks that he had given me so I had his account number. I withdrew cash from my bank and used a generic deposit slip to deposit the cash into his account.
Days later he told me that he was going to be able to finish school. He didn’t say how and he surely couldn’t have suspected me, no one knew of my inheritance.
He has had a wonderful career as an environmental attorney. He has been successful. I was successful in my career as well.
It might seem odd that I would choose the gift of money as a kindness but I choose it because it was an anonymous gift and because the gift bore fantastic fruit.
I’ve made many gifts of money to charitable organizations. I make gifts of money to political causes to mid-to-far left organizations. I do pro bono work regularly. I do what I can.
That’s what I expect from others, too. If you don’t have money, see if you can donate some time to those causes that you hold dear. If note time, then money until it hurts.
My advocacy is to encourage others to participate in lives outside of their dwellings. I was able to let a young man complete law school and he was able to contribute to the world’s well-being. That gift was money well given.”