As a guru and life coach to many entrepreneurs and their families, Lee Brower often uses the acronym T.E.A.R.‘s to describe the many things we can contribute to the well-being of others. T.E.A.R.‘s stands for Time, Energy, Attention, and Resources (Resources can be further broken down into money, technology or know-how, people or relationships, and ideas). Note that besides “money” and perhaps “technology”, there are no material “things” that make up our T.E.A.R.‘s. This became clear in a thought experiment that I shared with a teenage girl recently.
I was riding in a car with the girl and her father recently as he was taking her to school. Her father, in the spirit of the holidays, asked her what she thought of when she heard the word “giving”. She hesitated and responded timidly with “giving presents…or giving gifts?” as if it were a quiz. I asked her what she might be able to give someone else that wasn’t a present or a gift, something that wasn’t a physical “thing”. She was thinking about that question when she had to leave the vehicle.
What I was looking for was T.E.A.R.‘s. My next question would have been, “What could you give someone if you were one of the bottom 1% of humanity, living in poverty?”