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Tuesday, Sep. 2, 2014

Publicity stunt isn't same as generosity

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

"Generosity should come from the heart and not before the cameras."

Kevin Shelton is a highly successful real estate investor in Florida who is known as the "Money Man." Shelton wants to spark generosity in our society by giving away thousands of his dollars. But Shelton also has a lot of showman in him and not a small amount of ego. So instead of privately or quietly donating money to others, Shelton makes his giveaways public events. He did so last weekend at a shopping mall in Florida.

With much fanfare, Shelton stood on a balcony overlooking the mall's courtyard and took his "cash cannon" - a small silver tube - and fired $10,000 in $2 bills into the 500 or so people assembled below. Six people were taken to hospitals and six others treated for cuts and bruises in the mayhem that followed his "giveaway."

So what does Kevin Shelton and those assembled say about society? Well here's my take on the subject. Shelton should take his cash and use it for a worthwhile project instead of a publicity stunt. He should be prosecuted along with the mall officials who allowed this fiasco to take place. Generosity should come from the heart and not before the cameras. Otherwise, it's not generosity.

And for those 500 or so greedy, hungry folk who punched and kicked and scrambled for a small handful of cash - get a life! What a spectacle it must have been. It surely reminded you of feeding time at the zoo. Only the animals would have more sense than that.

If Shelton wants us to believe that his giveaways are indeed to "spark generosity," then we're all fools to buy his message. He's as hungry for publicity as the crowd was for a few free bucks.

Sometimes, human nature is just plain stupid.

If Kevin Shelton is serious about spreading the message of generosity, follow the example of millions of others who quietly and without fanfare give their hard-earned extra money to those in need. They help to feed a nation, to provide shelter and clothing and thousands of other essentials. In return they ask for nothing, especially publicity.

Everyone involved in this dismal display of humanity gone amok should be ashamed of themselves. But I'll bet Shelton will surface again and play phony Santa for a gullible and greedy public.



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