The Blessed Art of Sharing Your Riches
by Napoleon Hill
Wealth that is shared created more wealth, and you can share many forms of wealth besides money. Today’s millionaires themselves point out that anyone can become a millionaire because today’s wealth is so wide-spread and gives rise to so many opportunities. When you share in your own home you create a basic harmony which adds to your success and peace of mind in everything you do. Start now to share what you have, and when you have plenty of money you will share your money more wisely and with greater benefit.
YOU are going to make money. If you do not allow negative points of view trip you up, you will march straight forward on the road to riches. Yes, you are going to make money in solid sums – money that comes to you through your own worthy efforts – money you spend in helping others.
Will you build your character while you build your fortune? This, as by now you know, is not exactly “another matter.” There is a strong connection between the power to make money and the power to know your own mind and fulfill your own self as a fully realized person.
Again we shall examine a technique that goes with being rich and having invincible peace of mind. So far as sharing money is concerned, you may see this technique as belonging to your future. So far as sharing other forms of wealth is concerned, this technique is yours right now. Use it and make it part of you. Life proceeds according to the great Law of Compensation. The more you give of what you have, the more comes back to you – and it comes back greatly multiplied.
Giving to those who help themselves. Any man noted for his millions receives endless requests for money. He knows that most of these appeals come from people who will not use the money for necessities, let alone in any manner which helps them in their careers. He cannot hope to screen all such requests. Often it is far simpler for him to give large sums to a charity or to endow a foundation.
Those who have worked for their money know that the virtue of money consists in its use, not in its quantity. This is equally true whether the amount be a dime or a million dollars.
Henry Ford once was approached by Miss Martha Berry of the Martha Berry School in Georgia. Miss Berry asked for an endowment for her school, but Mr. Ford refused the request.
“Well,” she countered, “will you give us a sack of peanuts?”
Mr. Ford obliged by buying her a sack of raw peanuts.
With the aid of her students, mountain boys and girls, Miss Berry planted and replanted the peanuts, selling the crop until she had converted the original sack into six hundred dollars in cash. She then returned to Mr. Ford and handed him the six hundred dollars, saying “You see how practical we are in the use of money.” Mr. Ford handed back the six hundred dollars, along with some two million dollars to build the fine stone buildings which now adorn the campus of the Martha Berry School in Mt. Berry, Georgia.
Mr. Ford made very few gifts of this kind. Experience had taught him that all too often gifts to schools are handled by impractical people who know very little about sound business (or farming) methods. As long as Martha Berry lived, the Ford private car appeared on the railroad siding near her school once a year, while Mr. and Mrs. Ford paid a visit.
A present-day multimillionaire, Henry Crown, who arrived in this country as a poor immigrant from Lithuania, is now a leading figure in the vast General Dynamics Corporation. Mr. Crown has put a great deal of money into a plan which teaches aspiring young people how to handle capital. He has set up a fund of eight thousand dollars at a good many colleges, and this money is invested each year by the senior economics class. When the class makes a profit, its members share the surplus, and the fund is passed on intact to the next class.
Everyone has something to share and gains by sharing it. When a stranger stops you in the street and asks directions, you share your knowledge when you tell him. you do not have to be rich in money in order to do this. If you are really rich in human kindness you will give the stranger a very careful explanation, and perhaps walk to the next corner with him and point out the way.
The poorest of us has much to share. In some ways a poor man has as much to share as does a rich man. Certainly it so with love and with kindness.
I shall suggest three general ways of sharing which are available to almost anybody. You may not make use of the particular instances used as examples, but the list will serve to open your mind to the many possibilities of sharing more than money.
1. Share your special skills or knowledge. Many of us possess some special skill or knowledge which helps us earn money. We are used to selling our skills. Now look for a way to give that skill without thought of gain.
A much-needed clubhouse for the boys was built in the slum section of a large city. The basic construction costs were provided by a large foundation, but the clubhouse never would have gotten started were it not for those who gave their skills. A lawyer volunteered his services in drawing up the incorporation papers and other necessary documents. A carpenter installed locker room partitions. A painter gave his own services and also supervised a volunteer crew which painted the entire interior in cheerful colors. A mason installed a concrete ramp at one entrance so that physically handicapped boys could make their way in.
2. Share by filling a gap where you see one. Mr. A loaned his lawnmower to his new neighbor, Mr. B, who had not had time to equip himself. This was the beginning of excellent good-neighbor relations between the two families – but for a while, it seemed as though the matter were going the other way.
After Mr. B had trimmed his lawn, he returned the lawnmower with a big chip in one blade. Noticing this, Mr. A remarked diplomatically that Mr. B must have had some rocks hidden in his grass which chipped the blade. The new neighbor said gruffly that the blade had been chipped when he had been offered the use of the lawnmower, and walked away.
Since the chip was fresh and shiny, this hardly could have been so. Mr. A said nothing more, however. He limited his contacts with his new neighbor to mere nods if he met him in the street.
One day, Mr. B came around with a brand-new lawnmower and handed it to Mr. A. “I want you to have this,” Mr. B said. “You see, I knew I’d broken that blade but I couldn’t afford to have it fixed right then. I guess I should have said so, but, well, I didn’t. Now things have turned out all right and I want to do more than merely have the blade fixed.
Thus is many a non-money debt returned with interest! Far more valuable than the lawnmower itself, however, was the atmosphere of cordiality which the two families found from then on.
3. Share recognition and appreciation. Notice how often you are recognized as being in a certain role – for example, the role of a customer – and so you are treated in a certain way. Now turn around the situation and recognize the other person. You will find it is a limitless form of sharing.
For example, you may stop your car at a filling station on a hot day. The attendant rushes up, mopping his brow, anxious to give you prompt service. You recognize him as a person who has his own problems and you say: “Take it easy. It’s too hot to hurry.” He will remember you the next time you drive in.
Say you are an employer or a foreman. One of your men does exceptionally good work. Many an employer or foreman would observe that the man is paid to do a good job, so what? A wiser supervisor will make a point of telling a worker that his good performance has been noticed. When a person does a good job, he is favorably disposed toward anyone two gives him recognition. Furthermore, he will try thereafter to keep his work up to a high standard.
You will offer a kindness, you will perform many a free service, and in many cases, you will see no return. Bear in mind there is always a return within yourself, for when you give of yourself you make yourself bigger. And remember the Law of Compensation which always works in your favor when you arrange it so. We shall look more deeply into the wonders of compensation later on.
Look for ways to share your wealth. Never ask, “What wealth?” In sharing, you will find you are wealthier than you think. Share more than your money, and when you have plenty of money you will be more closely attuned to human needs and your money will give added benefit to those who share it.
The Supreme Secret is like a half-hidden treasure you may pass a hundred times a day without noticing; ye you see it from the corner of your eye.
Source: Grow Rich! with Peace of Mind by Napoleon Hill