The Values I Hold Dear: Freedom, Generosity, and Service

 

I believe that some of the greatest rewards in life are earned while helping others grow, thrive, and prosper; philanthropy is a huge part of my life! As such, I thought it might be a good idea to share more details around my views on philanthropy, particularly how and where I give to implement my philanthropic strategy and goals.

The values I hold dear:

Freedom

I believe human beings can only achieve their highest callings when they are free to make their own choices.  Of course, this does not mean they will find or pursue their highest callings. When people are subjected to coercion or control, they refocus on survival and subsistence, not creativity, innovation, or productivity.

People who are free to choose and pursue their work, location, interests, associations, etc., have the opportunity to turn those choices into good outcomes.  A key component to the value of freedom is freedom of conscience and speech.  Without this component, the exchange of ideas, information, and views is restrained and corrupted to the detriment of creativity, innovation, and productivity and greatly harms human progress.

Due to the impact that freedom, or lack of freedom, has on human beings, I believe it is the most important value I support and hold dear.

Generosity

I believe the act of giving – time, help, support, resources – anything that helps others is crucial to human progress.  But it is also the key element of human development.  The ability and intention to shift one’s focus from satisfying one’s own needs and desires to the means and opportunities to help others is a crucial step in personal growth and finding our highest calling.

I often describe this as achieving significance, and it can lead to creating a lasting legacy.  These rewards are among the most incredible that humans can experience while also providing the means to help those in need and address critical problems needing action.

Because generosity has such a profound impact on both the giver and the recipient, I believe it is the next most important value I support and hold dear.

Service

I believe the act of serving others, closely related to generosity, is also extremely valuable in producing human progress.  Service comes in countless different forms, but it is all about satisfying the needs or desires of others.  This act is critical in the operation of our private economy, our nonprofit organizations, our community organizations, and just about every other aspect of human interaction.

A society without service devolves quickly into a selfish battle of control and coercion with no ability to achieve the great benefits of cooperation and collaboration.  Generosity, intention, and commitment to service provide the means for humans to grow and progress individually and collectively.

Because service is critical to all human interactions, I believe it is the third most important value I support and hold dear.

How I Honor and Support these values

I believe the values of freedom, generosity, and service are prevalent in our society because they have been present and heralded since the founding of the United States.  The American Founders were the first to establish a governmental system that put highest on its values list the value of freedom:  freedom of speech, press, religion, assembly, and ability to petition our government to redress problems.

While it is obvious this country has not always held up the value of freedom, in general, America has been associated with and promoted human freedom since its founding.  Along with the importance of hard work, self-reliance, respect for private property, and community, freedom is vital to American history and identity. It has produced the richest, most accessible, most fulfilled society in history.

Rather than focusing my philanthropic efforts solely on freedom, I believe it is most valuable to focus on preserving, teaching and sharing America’s founding principles which have produced so much freedom, generosity, and service.

Generosity and service can be exhibited in countless ways, but I believe they can be most effectively promoted by supporting our vibrant philanthropic sector.  I think it is important to educate more people about the philanthropic sector – how large it is, how much impact it has, and how it engages and helps people.

Constructive exposure is the first step, philanthropic education is the second, and personal involvement is the third step of promoting generosity and service.

As more people see the impact of nonprofit organizations learn how they can support them, and find fulfilling ways to engage with them, we will realize the growing benefits of generosity and service.

I intend to help more people discover this part of society and find opportunities to get involved. Join me on this journey by visiting my website to learn more.

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