Gathered vs Hidden Cash

          Everyone loves the thrill of walking along and seeing a 5 dollar bill on the ground with no-one nearby who could have obviously dropped it. Now imagine that $5 was $200 and instead of randomly on the ground it was placed in an envelope and you had been given a clue of a location and a photograph of where you might find it. You and 440 000 others. That’s right! In just two weeks, what began as a fun quirky tale on Twitter with a handful of followers has become a little bit of a media phenomenon [especially in SF where it’s been happening] and a rapidly exploding Twitter account. An anonymous millionaire [apparently] decided that it would be fun to start propogating random acts of kindness and started hiding money in envelopes and leaving clues under the Twitter handle of @HiddenCash. And it has grown and grown and grown, launching a trip to L.A. this last weekend and a bunch of copycat accounts all over the world of other people trying to do similiar things. In L.A. @HiddenCash filled 36 Angry Birds with cash and buried them on a beach and then tweeted the location of the beach the next day… It has definitely caught the attention of many and has been a...

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What if we asked the right questions about poverty?

In this short and to-the-point blog post, David Rudd looks at ‘income equality’ not from the point of bashing those on the top and complaining about how they should give all their resources to those on the bottom. Rather, he frames the discussion in a way that we probably have not seen enough of. By suggesting three questions and inviting us to dialogue around those questions to hopefully find solutions or at least the beginning of them in the quest to create a fairer world. 1 – How might we enable the poor to improve their lives and earning potential? 2 – How might we protect against those who would gain wealth through fraud, deception or abuse? 3- How might we encourage all people to generously care for those around them? We would LOVE to hear your thoughts on any one of those, or even all three. In fact, perhaps you are even feeling inspired enough to write a whole blog post answering them [if you do this, please won’t you send on the link to us]. How about it? What practical and realistic [or even totally way out crazy-sounding] ideas do you have to help address the reality of Poverty that we see in the world around us?...

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Show me the [pope’s] money!

Some of you may have already seen this article titled ‘I knew Pope Francis was good, but when I found out everything he did in 2012 I was blown away’ which lists 19 aspects of Pope Francis’ 2013 and some of the impressive things he did [especially perhaps, when viewed through the lens of previous popes]. What was interesting to us at Two Cents was that four of the 19 dealt directly with money-related  ideas and acts: 1. He spoke out against frivolous spending of the church 9. He auctioned his motorcycle to benefit the homeless 11. He condemned the global financial system. 14. He redirected employees bonuses to charity. And three of them a little more indirectly, but conservation and the homeless are both very finance-related areas: 6. He urged the protection of the Amazon Rainforest  8. He snuck out of the Vatican to feed the homeless 18. He invited homeless men to his birthday meal All of this showing quite a strong emphasis on the ongoing intersection that seems to take place between FAITH and FINANCES. Jesus Himself often made specific references to the kingdom of God and the lure of money, reminding us that it would be an area where we would regularly have to make a choice and that it was not possible to reach for both, or worship both...

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if this were a homeless

Giving to Drug Addicts

Several years back, compelled by the policy of the community development organization I was working with in the inner city of Philadelphia, I decided not to give money to people on the street who asked for help. The neighborhood had high rates of unemployment and homelessness and so requests for help, for a couple of dollars, were frequent. Unfortunately, the neighborhood also had a lot of folk who were dependent on drugs and/or alcohol. Like many others, I adopted the maxim, “Never give money to a beggar. They’ll only spend it on drugs.” Now, undoubtedly, my motivations were good: 1. I believe I am called to steward my resources well and throwing them down a drain of addiction certainly doesn’t fit with that duty and 2. I do not want to be responsible for enabling another person’s dependency and destruction. I have felt very morally justified, therefore, in my intentional choice not to give money to people on the street. This motivation though is flawed for a number of reasons and Marc Barnes recently wrote an excellent blog addressing some of these issues, entitled ‘Giving your money to drug addicts.’ 1. This policy assumes that everyone asking for money or help has a dependency issue and is either a drug addict or an alcoholic 2. This policy assumes that...

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of Bono and how Generosity kicks Karma in the butt

One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered. [Proverbs 11.24-225] The Proverbs speak of the benefits of generosity. Some people will be able to look a this as a bit of a Karma-esque type behaviour – the idea that the good or the bad that you put out comes back to you in some other form later on. This video clip and story that i shared on my personal blog indicate that. But in the well known interview that took place between U2 frontman and all round rock star Bono and journalist Michka Assayas [from the book, ‘Bono: In conversation with Michka Assayas’, a great read] he has this to say, firstly about the importance of love: Bono: My understanding of the Scriptures has been made simple by the person of Christ. Christ teaches that God is love. What does that mean? What it means for me: a study of the life of Christ. Love here describes itself as a child born in straw poverty, the most vulnerable situation of all, without honor. I don’t let my religious world get too complicated. I just kind of go: Well, I think I know what God is....

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