evening, my son Micah and I delight in reading stories
aloud. For months, we have been deep into folktales from
around the world. Micah adores the giants and magic, but
I continue to be aghast at how many of the tales pit the
evil, greedy, rich nobleman against the kind, virtuous,
poor peasant. Story after story, country after country, relentlessly.
boy," I think to myself. "Where are
the stories of the good- hearted rich." Well, this
More than Money
has those stories: of
wealthy people who do not follow the bad guy legacy or
even accept the age-old role of controlling benefactor.
Nor do they settle for squirreling up in the private haven
of their personal lives. Instead, they find meaning by
working with others to fight injustices, better their
communities, increase tolerance, and defend the earth.
Whether working as business leaders, non-profit board
members, volunteers, paid activists, philanthropists,
or social investors, all are partners in community renewal,
often working with diverse groups of people to advance
a common dream.
obstacles to such an active public life are many. As Paul
Roget Loeb, author of Soul of a Citizen: Living with Conviction
in a Cynical Time aptly puts it, "Whatever impulses toward
involvement we might have, they're dampened by a culture
that demeans idealism, enshrines cynicism, and makes us
feel naive for caring about our fellow human beings or
the planet we inhabit." In addition, there are the never-ending
distractions: our car needs repair, and there's jelly
all over the kids, and we're already too busy, thank you.
Because of these factors, it is as frequent for rich people
to give up on social engagement as quickly as anybody
else. The result, however, is a nagging and painful sense
involvement can be one of the most deeply rewarding pursuits
of our lives--but no one can promise it will be easy.
Those featured in this issue have all faced doubts, fears,
and the temptation to create a private sanctuary against
the erosion of community and caring around them. Yet,
each has found a way to stay involved. Although we present
no simple answers or quick recipes for success, we hope
these stories give you encouragement. If you choose to
accept the challenge of moving beyond your own hesitations
and isolation, a life of greater purpose, positive influence,
and engaged partnership in a community for change awaits
when Micah is reading aloud to his grandchildren, I hope
that some of the children's books will be true stories
of the troubled times at the turn of the millennium--
adventure tales about the era when many caring people,
including people with wealth, jumped into the fray and
helped turn the tide.
- anonymous author
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