Spending Your Money to Make Someone Else Happy

The New York Times:

In the early 1990s, I went to Philadelphia on a Mormon mission and lived in a tough section of the city. One day I received a letter from a friend. In it was $100 and instructions to spend it doing something nice for someone else. No spending the money on myself.

It was the holiday season, and I figured it would be fun to provide a great dinner for a family we had recently met who was clearly going to go without. We bought a turkey, stuffing, all the fixings, a pie and small gifts. I still remember leaving the box of food on the doorstep, knocking a few times and running.

We watched from a hiding place as someone came to the door, looked at the food, looked around, gathered it all up and went inside. I have no idea what the reaction was after that. We never saw that family again, but I do know that the experience ranks among the best I had during that time in my life.

Read the whole story: The New York Times

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