Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Foundational Concepts

There is a running joke between one of my good friends and myself about the "The Meadows Foundation", but I am starting to think that this joke might be better as reality.  The joke began a while back when my friend, who is aware of much of the charitable work and giving that I do, said he wanted to reserve a spot in my foundation in case things went bad for him and his family. 

Given the way things are going today I am beginning to think that creating a real "Meadows Foundation" might not be such a bad idea given the economy and the needs that I see on a daily basis.  I believe charity should be a fundamental part of our lives and the benefits of giving far outweigh the benefits of receiving so today I am going to outline some of my core beliefs of what this Foundation should look like and seek input from those that know me best or at least care to read my rant.

First, I think the primary purpose of this charity should not be to help the homeless, those on welfare, etc.  The target of this Foundation is average everyday people going about their everyday affairs.  You won't be able to apply for benefits, they will be bestowed in anonymity and require only the information needed to garner non-profit status.  The main principle of the Foundation will be to "pay it forward" or "general reciprocity".  In other words, the good you do comes back to you in other ways - one of the main ways is the abundant joy and reward of doing good for others without seeking external adulation for your good acts - hence the requirement for anonymity.

My hope is that in time by "paying it forward" that there will be a greater propensity of all people to treat others that they encounter, friend or stranger, with acts of random kindness leading to a more peaceful existence.  This kindness doesn't have to be monetarily focused.  The simple act of holding a door, helping a single mom struggling with multiple kids get on an airplane, letting someone with a couple items go before you in a checkout, etc. all help build a better world for us and those who occupy this world after us.   

Now the real work begins.

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