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Rem Stokes knows that talking about money makes most of us a little uncomfortable, but he argues the reward is well worth the exercise in his new book titled Cultivating Generosity: Giving What’s Right, Not What’s Left. Rem is an author, teacher, veteran fundraiser and a two-year resident of The Garlands of Barrington. He’s also a voracious reader, and a tireless advocate for conscious living and generous giving.
In Cultivating Generosity, Rem invites us to do some thoughtful introspection, with the hope that we’ll consider finding more resources to share. He challenges us to think about the influences that shape our attitudes toward money and he explores how donating money can bring more happiness and personal satisfaction.
On February 10, at 11:30 a.m., Rem will share his book’s message at a discussion and book signing at The Garlands of Barrington’s Performing Arts Center and all are welcome (more details below).
Rem, 83, is a true Renaissance man. A former engineering manager with Bell Telephone Laboratories and Motorola, he holds 22 patents. He holds degrees in both mechanical engineering and educational psychology.
His home at The Garlands is lined with books meticulously organized by subject–and he’s read them all. When he’s not spending time with his wife, Lee, you can find Rem writing in his light-filled office (which has a spectacular view, by the way), or teaching anything from neuroscience to history.
Rem has been thinking about our relationship with money for quite some time. In 1953, at age 23, he joined the Unitarian Universalist Church in Summit, New Jersey. When the church’s minister asked Rem to canvass for their capital campaign to raise funds for a new religious education building, Rem enthusiastically agreed. He thought people would give eagerly to the cause.
When he asked people to donate, though, he was shocked by their “enormous ambivalence.” People were hesitant to give, and even more reluctant to say why not. That was the beginning of Rem’s involvement with 77 churches’ capital campaigns, and his lifelong study of money attitudes.
In Cultivating Generosity, Rem writes “For many, money is a delicate subject. When I was a kid, it was considered to be in bad taste to discuss sex, politics, religion, or money…Well, times have changed. People talk openly about yesteryear’s most personal problems: mental illness, personal diseases, and every form of cancer…But not money! Money may be the last great taboo.”……