Book Club Discussion Questions for Good Sam
1. Good Sam has inspired people to think about the countless ways they can help others. How can we—with whatever resources we already have—be more generous to those we love, as well as the needy? How can we be Good Sams ourselves?
2. [Spoiler Alert] Good Sam Eric Hayes gave the money to five people who made a profound difference in his brother’s life. Who are the people who—through actions both big and small—have made a difference in your life? If you had more resources (time, money, etc.), how might you help them?
3. [Spoiler Alert] Good Sam Eric Hayes gave away $500,000 out of grief at the loss of his brother, whom he failed to rescue in a tragic accident. What are ways that grief can inspire us to treat others differently or make changes in our own lives?
4. When people perform acts of kindness for others, they often report that they receive more than they give. Has this been true for you? If so, when? Is it possible we are hardwired to get pleasure from helping others?
5. In the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), both the Priest and a Levite saw a beaten man at the side of the road and “passed on the other side.” Only the Samaritan stopped and bandaged the man’s wounds and took care of him. What are times in our own lives where we have been more like the Priest or the Levite and why? What are times in our lives when we’ve been more like the Samaritan? What prevents us from being more like the Samaritan and how can we overcome those challenges?
6. According to the Jewish philosopher and scholar Maimonides, the second highest form of charity is giving anonymously to another person so that you don’t know his identity and he does not know yours. This is what Eric Hayes does in Good Sam. Why is anonymity important in helping others? Are there times when it’s valuable for the recipient to know the identity of his benefactor?