Money and Value Group Guide

Volume V, Number I

Artwork by Amy Liu

We buy stuff. And lots of it. But what value does that stuff have, and how do we value the money that we buy it with? KidSpirit writers delve into these complex issues from a variety of fascinating perspectives.

1. In her feature essay “My Two Cents on Money,” Kimberly Tan takes up the challenge to go one whole week without spending money. Challenge yourself to do the same thing. Take the experiment as far as you like — do you decide not to buy gas for your car or eat food purchased by others during the week? — and keep a diary describing your experience. How do your daily routines change or your interactions with other people? What does this experiment reveal about your relationship to money?

2. The Big Question asks us to consider what true happiness is and whether money can take us there. Writer Sidarth Jayadev says that if we were to give up worldly possessions it would free our mind to concentrate on things other than money or greed. What do you think? Can possessions be useful? Is there a threshold where they start to become harmful? What causes you true happiness and is money involved?

3. Interfaith Connections is a new column in this issue in which people talk about how their spiritual or faith backgrounds influence their views on our theme. In this issue, writers talk about how their backgrounds inform the way they value money. Is your view of money informed by a spiritual or faith-based perspective? Whether it is or isn’t, how do you decide what’s valuable in your life? Share your perspective with someone from a background different from yours and see what commonalities you have.

4. In her PerSpectives essay, Lynne Twist asserts that it is a myth that we live in a world with limited resources we must hoard in order to survive. She describes how simply acknowledging that there is enough for everyone and that we don’t need more can be a step toward living in greater harmony with those around us. Have you ever ordered a small meal at a restaurant or a smaller drink on a menu not because it was cheaper, but because you simply didn’t need the extra food? Are there areas of your life in which you could live more simply? Make a list of your ideas and share them.