Tip: It is better to give with a warm hand than with a cold one!


Tip of the Week

Tip: It is better to give with a warm hand than with a cold one!

I was recently invited to have dinner with my daughter, Rachael and her husband, Tim.  While dinner was being prepared, I went to get something from my car and noticed their next door neighbor, Barbara, was out in her yard.  So, I stopped to talk to her while she was doing some yard work.  We talked about our children and grandchildren and how much fun it is to watch them grow up and have a life of their own.  I shared with her something that my father used to say, “If I had known how wonderful grandchildren were, I would have had them first!” and we laughed at that.

Later in the conversation as we talked about other things, Barbara shared with me something that her father used to say, “It is better to give with a warm hand than a cold one.”  She explained that what he meant was that it is better to give when you are alive and can see the benefit of your gift rather than waiting until your hand has gone cold in death before leaving items as an inheritance to someone else.

Now, there is nothing wrong with leaving behind an inheritance.  It is a kind and generous thing to do.  Perhaps you have even been the beneficiary of such a gift.  However, I have known from first-hand experience the power of being able to give while you are still alive and can see the benefits and blessings your gift brings to others.

Giving while you are still warm and alive could have another benefit as well; it could give you the ability to have a bit of influence on where and how financial resources are spent.

Not long ago I read an article about a couple from New York who had died and left a very sizeable endowment to a hospital in Brooklyn.  It seems they had made a $50,000 investment with Warren Buffet in 1961 into Berkshire Hathaway stock that was worth $780-million when they died.  Their intent was for the hospital to be run on the interest of that money so that it could remain open and operational permanently.  However, the hospital mismanaged its assets and through a series of court actions was able to dip into the endowment for other purposes until nothing was left and the hospital was forced to close its doors.

That is what I am talking about.  This unfortunate situation could have been avoided had the couple given the money over a period of time while they were alive to see that it was dispersed in the way they intended.

I have a friend whose father told him that he planned to leave him some money, a car and an old pistol when he passed away.  However, the only thing my friend actually got when his father was gone was the old pistol.  Again, had the father given the things he intended while he was still alive, the son would have gotten what his father wanted him to have.

I’m not saying this to put doubt or unkindness in your heart regarding any family members.  My point is that if you want to give something, it is better to give it while you are alive and have a warm hand and a warm heart so that it goes where you want it to go, rather than waiting for your hand and heart to be cold in death and you have no ability to make sure your wishes are carried out regarding what you want your beneficiaries to receive.

I have seen many people blessed by receiving an inheritance, but I have also seen more people blessed by giving it.  Perhaps you have heard the old quote, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”  I don’t know of any way to do that if you don’t have some kind of say so or guidance over what you are giving and to whom you are giving it.

As I walked away from talking to Barbara that day, I couldn’t help but wonder at the rich wisdom our fathers had left to each of us that now we can pass along to our children and grandchildren as well.  There is great value in being able to pass on good wisdom… especially in the area of giving and helping others, which is something we all need to learn, apply and leave behind for the next generation!

Tip: It is better to give with a warm hand than with a cold one!

Have a great week!  God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm

Dr. Robert A. Rohm, Ph.D.

Dr. Robert A. Rohm, Ph.D.

Top selling author and speaker, Robert Rohm Ph.D. is founder of Personality Insights Inc. and The Robert Rohm Co. As you will see, Dr. Rohm specializes in helping people better understand themselves and others.