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Are People with More Money Less Generous?

Why does it sometimes seem that people with the most money can be the least generous and most fearful about losing money?Paul Sutherland: I think our reptilian brains are wired to hoard. Considering the history of our universe, people became “civilized” (and I use that word very loosely) quite recently. And as humans, the more we gain, the more we are wired to “expect” that we should keep it. We have read the studies about entitlement versus luck, in which a researcher divides a classroom of children according to the world’s distribution of wealth. While some children receive lots of resources, most don’t. More often than not, the rich kids do not feel compelled to share.This sentiment is in stark contrast with the African ethical philosophy of Ubuntu, which many adopt as “the essence of being human.” Ubuntu is based on the notion that as humans, we are completely interconnected and, as such, our actions should factor in the whole of humanity, not just ourselves as individuals, because they affect everyone.This reminds me of a story I was once told about a woman who had become attached to a young boy wh …

About the Author

Paul Sutherland

Paul Sutherland resides in Michigan with his four youngest kids, ages 5 to 10. He and his wife, Amy, try to be an example of Parenting for a Peaceful world, in which democracy begins at home.

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