Opening Activity

Think of a time when you encountered someone who appeared to be poor. What were your initial thoughts? What about the person suggested they were poor to you?

Discussion Questions

  1. What does it mean to be an "entrepreneur of public happiness"?
  2. Why is it a "good Demon" and a "good Angel" that spur the narrator to action?
  3. The beggar is described as having a "look of hate." Why does the narrator take this as a good sign?
  4. What does it mean to have equality or liberty in this story? Are these words used differently from how you normally understand them?
  5. What is the narrator's theory on giving? Why does he think his idea is "superior to that whole dictionary of remedial truisms" he has just read?
  6. What is the best way to respond when someone on the street asks you for money?
  7. What is your process of deciding to whom you give?

Closing Activity

What is one way this discussion has helped you question your own giving?
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