Thankfulness & Perspective

This article originally appeared in our monthly newsletter, Fiscal Therapy.
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WHAT I’M THINKING ABOUT: “How to raise kinder, less entitled kids (according to science)”

By Karen Weese, The Washington Post

Notwithstanding the title, this is an insightful read even for those who aren’t parents. Chances are you’re influencing the life of a child in some fashion: as an uncle, aunt, sibling, family friend, teacher, mentor, neighbor, service provider, you name it. We’re all involved in shaping the next generation.

The article lays out several irrational ways our brains work that can skew our perspective on the world and generate feelings of entitlement. For example, the more you’re exposed to a certain level of lifestyle, the more normalized it becomes. If everyone in your peer group takes a fabulous international vacation each year, this will likely become your standard for a proper vacation. As you read this article, consider how these irrationalities may be shaping your perspective on wealth. How can you change these behaviors for your own benefit and model a better perspective for the children in your life?


A PERSPECTIVE I APPRECIATED: “Little space, large life. Why we live in a teeny apartment with three children.”

By Batsheva Neuer, The Washington Post

I loved this story by a fellow city mother. The refreshing perspective she brings to small space, limited resources, and valuing what truly matters applies to us all.  

I swore 18 months ago when we moved into our two-bedroom that we would adopt a “have” rather than “have not” attitude. Growing up on stories that my grandfather, whose family of nine lived in a one-room shtetl home in Poland where they perched his mattress on their stovetop to optimize space, I reminded myself that our limited conditions would be cozy, not claustrophobic. I thought of the millions of displaced Syrian refugees who’d travel weeks on a boat just to find a persecution-free haven and said 800 square feet overlooking Central Park doesn’t exactly render me a victim….
There is a famous saying in the Talmud: Who is rich? He who is happy with his lot. When it’s 7 a.m. and all five of us are shamelessly bopping to Klezmer around our living room, I know I’ve achieved this. And so, despite what my bank account says, I do feel I’ve bred some very rich kids. In the meantime, my kids won’t hear me complain. So far, our little square footage has turned into a pretty large life.