I just finished reading a couple of articles and a book written from the 1% that have the privilege of talking about philanthropy and the impact they are having in the world both on a large scale but also in the life of one. I know it is easy at times to feel as if you are a little fish in a big pond that is owned and managed by someone else. It is inspiring to think that there is actually collaborative competition amongst the most wealthy to consider how to impact the world around us where having food at night before you go to bed is an ongoing question. Whether there is clean water will determine if a mom will see her latest baby grow up or become another statistic. I know that it is very difficult for normal people, like you and me, to relate to the Buffets, Gates and others who are turning their entrepreneurial skills into a movement to change the world.
I know that many today truly want to do well by doing good. I have a close friend who recently opened up a new coffee shop and church in downtown Phoenix. He is taking a huge risk because of the expense of starting both a new church and new business in a downtown that still is coming of age. His slogan is, ‘drink good coffee and do good’. He doesn’t have the backing of a billionaire father or uncle but the support of normal average people.
What struck me as I read a book written by the father of one of the wealthiest men in our world is that he was raised in a typical family that could have been like yours or mine. I know that paying it forward is a popular expression that is starting to take root. The book focused on how this family did your typical Sunday dinners, the parents were very involved with community service organizations, their kids were raised learning how to read and not be vegetables sitting in front of a screen. They did family vacations and learned the importance of learning about life from their grandparents. Sounds rather normal and almost boring, yet, it is this background that ultimately influenced this individual to challenge others to give their wealth away in an organized planned out fashion.
It was interesting reading a couple of articles that dialogued about the evils of capitalism and apparent conscienous laundering of the Billionaire Philanthropists. The bottom line is that those in the know are talking and actually acting out on seeing that it is time that everyone sees their part in making a difference in the world around us. It is incredible to think that a Laruen Busch or a Blake Mycoskie can birth businesses that will change the face of the world and influence others to give back but in a very different way. Yes, the issue of poverty is a very complex and confusing topic that is more than a discussion on capitalism or cultural norms or educational reform.
I know that too often we can allow the inner voice within to tell us that we could never be like so and so that is doing it. I had a text from someone at a new job that was too quick to throw in the towel and say, ‘same ol’ stuff’, after a couple of weeks on a new job. I texted back, so then do something that is ordinary in an extra-ordinary way. Yes you can make an impact in the world around you if you are willing to listen, learn and do something ordinary in an extra-ordinary way.