Matthew McConaughey and his wife Camila Alves opened up in an interview to Town and Country Magazine about parenting their three kids Levi, 11, Vida, 10, and Livingston, 7. Often it involves a lot of saying “no.”
McConaughey said: “Sometimes loving your kids means giving them just what they want. Other times it means tough love. Affluent people can give their kids everything they want, but they're not usually going to get what they need. Loving a child is a lot harder if you really give a damn. ‘No' takes a lot more energy. It's a lot easier to say ‘yes.'”
As it turns out, their eldest son actually inspired their pivot to philanthropy in recent years. Their foundation, Just Keep Livin’, strives to empower high school students.
Alves explained: “When you have your first child and you're in the position that Matthew is, whoever gets that first photo will make a lot of money. When we found out that the person was going to make over a million dollars on a photo, we were like, ‘No. We're going to do an exclusive and get the money and put it into the foundation.'”
McConaughey said that because of the coronavirus, they’ve been teaming up with disaster orgs like Bstrong to donate PPE equipment to first responders. He said that the current crisis is underlining their commitment: “There's going to have to be more self-reliance on staying true to your voluntary obligations. It's already tough; we humans love to procrastinate. In our foundation, one of the things we're trying to teach is self-reliance, saying, “Why do you do it? Do it for you.'”
Interestingly, McConaughey noted that selflessness can be inherently selfish. He said: “I’ve always been a hedonist, and part of having a foundation is putting a capital H on hedonism. Being able to give back in ways is a selfish endeavor. It feels good to me to see a smile or hear a young person say thank you. That’s called a selfless act? I call it a selfish act.”