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Giving is the New Receiving

This week I read an article that reminded me again of the importance of charitable giving. Charity can take the form of giving away your time, your possessions, and your money to people less fortunate. The article continued with the message that charity reduces your stronghold to materialism. If we feel good giving away our possessions, perhaps we will be less inclined to replace them.

Living in USA in 2017, there is plenty of materialism to be seen, everywhere. None of us are excluded. We need to remember that living and working in the United States means we have many freedoms much of the world does not. We have access to innovation and opportunity, state of the art education, world class health care, religious liberties, and so much more. I personally can add to this list that I am grateful to work with my family, enjoy my great parents, and live in a home filled with life and love. You all could add so many blessings to this list too. I am committed to remembering my blessings and paying it forward to help others. I hope you will too.

In the article I read, it highlighted the story of the billionaire New Yorker Charles Feeney, now 85, who gave away the last of his 8 billion dollar fortune to fund community service work at Cornell University. Feeney made his first fortune in the 1960s by instituting the original duty-free shops at airports throughout the world. Secretly, he transferred the ownership of his duty-free business to fund early investments in Facebook, Priceline, E-Trade, Alibaba and Legent. He recognized early the importance of paying it forward. Over his lifetime, Feeney has given way in excess of 99.9% of his fortune. He has given vast sums of money for various causes including paying paramilitary forces in Northern Ireland to embrace electoral politics, creating from scratch a public health system in Vietnam, and providing AIDS drug treatment to those in need in southern Africa, and I am sure hundreds of other causes undocumented.

Feeney and his wife, Helga, left themselves with slightly more than $2 million to live out the rest of their lives in their rented apartment in San Francisco. And what I enjoyed learning about Mr. Feeney the most was throughout his life he had the means to fly private anywhere in the world, instead he always flew in coach and preferred a burger at his favorite local Irish restaurant. According to Feeney, “you can only wear one pair of pants at a time.” What a great example we should all strive to live by!

Push the Sled blog is written by Dusty Alexander, CEO of Global Shop Solutions, because no matter how good you get (at physical fitness, running a manufacturing business or being an ERP user) you can always work harder, get better, and be humble.

Image: Liz O. Baylen/Los Angeles Times, via Getty Images
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