We follow the same rules in our family, and one of them is: Always stop to buy lemonade from kids who are entrepreneurial enough to open up a little business.My brother immediately pulled over to the side of the road and asked about the choices.The three young girls — under the watchful eye of a nanny, sitting on the grass with them — explained that they had regular lemonade, raspberry lemonade, and small chocolate candy bars.Then my brother asked how much each item cost.“Oh, no,” they replied in unison, “they’re all free!”I sat in the back seat in shock. Free? My brother questioned them again: “But you have to charge something? What should I pay for a lemonade? I’m really thirsty!”His fiancee smiled and commented, “Isn’t that cute. They have the spirit of giving.”That really set me off, as my regular readers can imagine.“No!” I exclaimed from the back seat. “That’s not the spirit of giving. You can only really give when you give something you own. They’re giving away their parents’ things — the lemonade, cups, candy. It’s not theirs to give.”I pushed the button to roll down the window and stuck my head out to set them straight.
Or maybe it’s the other way around: The kids are learning from the society around them. No one has ever taught them there’s no free lunch — and all they see is “free,” not the result of hard work, and saving, and scrimping.