With the start of the New Year, and with the recent holidays behind us, one thought is prevalent and in the forefront of my mind—we all have a world of opportunity before us. The feeling of renewal that accompanies ringing in a new year makes this time of personal reflection a natural fit. Now is as good a time as any for each of us to take a moment to reflect on our own experiences, roles, and responsibilities as they pertain to the state of our families, our local communities, and our nation.
There is no doubt about it—we are living in divisive times. Our society is being torn apart by the extremes. There are tremendous inequalities, and we are constantly being bombarded with negativity, bad news, character assassinations, foul language, and an overall culturally poisonous environment. What has been the most disconcerting to me was a recent article I read comparing the fall of the Roman Empire to the apparent decline of the United States and the role and position our families and our communities play in this current state.
However, I believe in the future. I believe there is hope for our children, grandchildren, extended families, communities, and nation. But we have to think differently and come up with new approaches and new ways of tackling our societal issues—and that is what these 2019 blogs will be all about. We hope to turn the tide of decline into a wave of ascent using all the philanthropic good in today’s society and advancing it with new donor-focused thinking, new ideas, and new tools and techniques. We will explore human motivations, the aging process, and how technology can address all these societal challenges.
“We have to think differently and come up with new approaches and new ways of tackling our societal issues...”
I will lay out the great opportunities that lay in front of us—us, collectively as a family and local community, and for us as individuals. For we each have an opportunity in our own little world to make a difference and to change the direction in which we are headed.
Duty, Honor, Country
Based on my recent reflections, I can see the impact of my upbringing, my college experience, and my different life experiences. Having attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, I have found that the motto “Duty, Honor, Country” has been at the core of my life since graduation. As I consider those solemn words, and based on my experiences, I’m reminded that I can do my own little part to take advantage of the opportunities that lay ahead of us to facilitate change for the better. One person doing a little can affect the direction of our country and provide some momentum for an overall societal benefit impacting individuals, families, and our hometowns.
Keys to Transcendence
For our 2019 blogs, we will share with you how we can each do our part to improve our lives, our families, our communities, and our nation. In the blogs to come, we will share with you key components of The Life Journey of Aspirational Giving © – the giving that transcends beyond ourselves to a higher calling and extends to our families, friends, those in need, our environment, and our country. We will explore the concept of gerotranscendence - how our “giving” evolves with age as we continue on our own life journey.
We will also share with you how your life skills, talents, and experiences can be used for good and to help those in need. We will explore and help you answer the key questions to identify, realize, and apply action steps to help you achieve a much more fulfilling, meaningful, and satisfying life that will benefit all—especially those less fortunate. We will lay out a process to address these Seven Essential Questions of Smart Giving℠.
“One person doing a little can affect the direction of our country and provide some momentum for an overall societal benefit.”
A Holistic Perspective on Giving
While my primary expertise is in financial giving, the Seven Questions deal with all kinds of giving that relate to your time, talent, ties, and treasure. In the upcoming blogs, we will address in layman’s terms the relationship of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, to include self-transcendence needs, and their relationship to the aging gerotranscendence as defined by Swedish sociologist Lars Tornstam. We will highlight the tremendous opportunities available for each of us to take advantage of utilizing technology during our increased health and longevity—if we are so fortunate to experience both.
So stay tuned! It’s our goal this year to help each of you understand and empower you with process, tools, and techniques on how to take advantage of your own unique life experiences, talents, skills, and education to “do good”. We want to help you do your part to make and direct our societal resources to help those in need and to bring more meaning and significance to your own life while perpetuating your own personal and family values.
Let's do some good!
Coming Next: What is Aspirational Giving?