Ch 23: On Handouts and Welfare · Ch 25: Helping Locally and Globally · found money

Would You Take Jia’s $5?

Attempting to hand out $5 bills -no strings attached- Jia Jiang seemed surprised to find that three out of five people weren’t interested.

I would have anticipated that. In my work, I’m regularly encouraging clients to pursue the free cash available to them. Rarely do they.

“Oh, I think that’s meant for someone else.”
“I’ll find another way.”
“I’d have to fill out three pages? Ugh.”

In the meantime, they stress about running short, feel unable to afford housing, eat less than their body needs, turn to struggling charities…

Me? I accepted over $5000 in grants in September alone. In precarious times, such grants help me house and feed my child and myself without leaning on agencies that are strained to the hilt. And in the best of times? I’m allowed to invest it, building wealth so that I can -when everything lines up- develop housing for others.

Are you saying “no thanks” to the cash that’s being offered to you, by your government’s college funding system, by your employer’s 401(k) match, by your child’s autism support department? Are you sure you can’t take that $40 or $6000 and do even more good in the world with it?

How much needs to be on the table before you’re willing to complete the 90 minutes of paperwork required?

If you see Jia on the street, accept his gift. Frame it, and let it remind you to ask for what’s out there. Better yet, use it to buy yourself a fancy cappuccino while you fill in the paperwork for the six grand!

Mr Jiang is the author of the fabulous Rejection Proof, the result of one hundred days of trying really, really hard to be rejected.


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