Being rich is not the only way to make a difference, but it helps
Most of us don’t wear a “world’s richest person” label so what we do with our money may not be newsworthy, however, I suspect if we did and we were trying to leave the world better than we found it, we’d have a few projects on our list.
The news has been filled with stories about Amazon co-founder and author MacKenzie Scott’s $4 billion gift to almost 400 entities this month. I applaud her generosity and am delighted that as the 18th richest person in the world, she opted to give her money away fast and feverishly with “full trust and no strings attached.”
She donated unrestricted funds to groups ranging from the YWCA, to United Way, to schools, colleges, and universities. As someone who works with higher education institutions I jumped for joy. Money with no strings is the hardest to come by and to receive an email or letter announcing your largest gift is one of the best Christmas gifts ever.
Scott’s generosity touched my heart because I’d been wondering how one person amasses these huge fortunes when there are so many societal ills that could be addressed simply through sharing? I don’t think there are folks who spend their days in a corner counting their cash while there are beggars at the gate but especially during this pandemic, it is difficult not to see the great need.
Dolly Parton, Michael Bloomberg, Bill and Melinda Gates, Oprah and others have been generous to help populations stricken by COVID-19 and thankfully they have encouraged their peers to donate as well. During this season of giving, our mailboxes are filled with solicitations from organizations of all sizes and shapes. Even if we wanted to help them all, there’s not enough to go around unless we get creative and intentional.
I am reminded of an anniversary party we attended last year. The couple said they had one of everything on earth so guests were asked to make donations in their honor to the small college they had attended. Thousands of dollars later, they had blessed their school and spread their influence wider than they could have imagined.
Though I have never been hungry, I have seen the heartbreak and ravages of it so for my birthday/book launch one year I asked guests to bring cans of food for the Hungry Bowls campaign in my community and asked for donations to Habitat for Humanity, two of my favorite charities. It was a win-win for me and my community.
When I was growing up there weren’t many professional athletes, highly paid entertainers, tech gurus, or many people of means but that isn’t the case today. Athletes and entertainers make more from one season or episode than most of us can expect to earn in a lifetime.
A special thanks to Ms. Scott and the other billionaires who are sharing so generously but I will stop whining and/or shouting about how much or how little somebody else gives and focus on my own. It’s easy to do their thinking and spend their resources but what we do proportionate to what we have is where the rubber hits the road. We don’t all have the same “stuff”, but the scripture poignantly reminds us “To whom much is given, then much will be required,” (Luke 12:48).
As we move closer to 2021, let’s purposely plan to be more generous, to be more sensitive, to look for opportunities to share hope, grace, encouragement, kindness, and resources whenever and wherever we can. Together we can heal, help, and make the difference.
How do you plan to heal, help, make a difference and leave the world better than you found it? Drop your comments to me at #drbondhopson on Twitter and Facebook.
Looking for inspiration, empowerment, uplift, straight talk, an encouraging word to brighten your day? You’ve arrived! Meet Dr. Cynthia Ann Bond Hopson, best-selling author, educator, inspirational speaker, sistergirl–she’s all that and more. Now listen to her new podcast, “Three Stores, Two Cotton Gins, One Remarkable Life: The Journey from There To Here,” and meet her favorite family and friends as they share laughter and heartwarming life lessons. Look for it on this page or wherever you get your favorite podcasts.