Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Power of Half

Whew. So this has been quite the week. One that I have absolutely adored, but exhausting nonetheless. I've been spending it teaching high schoolers and they are just so much fun. Do you think I'm crazy for saying that I have the best job in the world for teaching high school? Quite possibly, yes. But they're great; they're witty, they're thoughtful, and though it takes some time to win respect in their eyes, once you do it's a neat relationship. And most importantly, they are in desperate need of caring adults in their life who can love on them and provide them with a good example. It's the power of presence.

That in no way relates to my post today.

Here's where I'm going today: I love Sunday mornings. I let myself sleep in just a little bit; long enough to feel rested, but not so late that I don't feel like there's time to be productive in the morning hours. So I wake up, sip some delicious coffee, and put on the CBS Sunday Morning news show. You should check it out; it's good stuff.

Anyway, this last week they did a piece on a family who wrote a book called 'The Power of Half'. Basically, they were a super wealthy family who recognized the poverty of people in their city and the world and how their finances were much better off than the vast majority of people. So they did something about it. They saw a need and they changed their lives. They aligned their actions with their passions. They sold their house, giving the profit away to a charity and downsized to a much smaller house.

I wanted to actually post the video piece onto my blog, but me in my bloggy newness couldn't figure out how that happened. So this is a link to their own website which has that video on it with a bunch of other great stuff.

There are some people who criticized the Salwen family because they let the money be used in Africa rather than in poverty-stricken cities in the U.S. First of all, they are completed devoted to work in their own city too, with the whole family being involved in giving to the community in some way. Second of all, I don't think it matters! We are all humans, we are all united and need to take care of those who can't take care of themselves no matter where they live. Complaining about their wealth, or how they tried to help is missing the heart of the message. It's about being aware of injustice in the world, both near and far. If you can't give financially, then volunteer at a food back. Or keep a pair of socks and a granola bar in your car to give out to a homeless man when you pass him on the street. Or sell your house and give away the profits. Whatever your form of awareness and giving can look like, do it. That's the message of The Power of Half, and that's what inspires me.


  1. Hi Sarah,
    I found you from Michael Hyatt's blog. Isn't that a great blog to read? His writings and topics are always so inspiring.

    My situation is similar to yours except for the military husband part. I sub at a community college(adult education), and part time at that. I used to travel a lot, and I like to write, so why not share my experiences? I currently write on and My problem is how to keep writing every day, like everyone says to do.

    I saw this Power of Half show. The family is very admirable. Americans in general are very generous. Asian countries which have become very rich in the last ten years need to learn from us to give more to charities.


  2. Hi Eileen! I love reading Michael Hyatt's blog. He has so many wonderful insights into leadership, publishing, and just life in general. Good luck with writing- I'll come over and check out your sites. I also struggle with writing every day; pretty much every morning I wake up saying I'll make the time, but many nights roll around and I haven't done it yet. Have fun subbing this week. :)