Having sat through two viewings of the movie Frozen with the accompanying sing along words and a chorus of five granddaughters ranging in age from 6 to 24 (plus a Grammy who still has a fine soprano voice), I have had the song “Let It Go” stuck in my head. It took me months to erase, “It’s a Small World After All” after our last Disney World visit.
One of the greatest challenges in my life, besides getting songs out of my head, is reconciling my business life, which is centered on helping people to attain and grow wealth, with the idea of letting it go and living lives with open hands. How do any of us juggle the responsibility to care and provide for our spouses and children with caring for the needs of the poor? This is the essence of stewardship. How do I use what I have been given with responsibility, integrity and diligence? How do I couple my head knowledge and my heart’s yearning?
The process starts with a reality check and an honest look at our financial circumstances and those of the world around me. It requires an assessment of our sense of entitlement. It requires a readjustment of our priorities and a hard analysis of the distinction between wants and needs. Our sense of entitlement seems to be engrained in our American psyche. We do well to ask ourselves: why was I chosen to live in the most prosperous country during the most prosperous time in the history of the world? This question raises another: what do we have in our hands and what responsibility does that bring with it?
It is easy to avoid these hard questions by burying them in the busyness of our lives with our minds numbed by instantaneous information and entertainment overload. However, when something breaks through and speaks to our hearts and minds, our response should be how can I? instead of why I can’t.
To address the needs of the billions who are starving for food, to offer opportunity to those who are without good jobs, and to bring hope to the many who have lost hope, those of us who have must be willing to let go of our fears, concerns and yes, our possessions.
We also need to do this responsibly at several levels. We still need to provide for our families. We need to invest the funds wisely to provide the greatest good. We need to be open to taking the risk of giving until it hurts.
A missed meal for us is an aberration; for all too many, it is normal.
Note from the Editor:
If you want to be part of the solution to global poverty, then practice “letting it go” by investing some of your resources in sustainable social enterprise that will create good jobs, generate economic increase, and achieve measurable social impact. Here are 3 opportunities to do so:
- Invest in a project on our new crowdfunding site. Here you can directly participate in funding a socially conscious business or project in a developing community.
- Join our private equity team. Make an impact investment in a socially conscious startup.
- Give to Agora. Your donations allow us to train entrepreneurs to run profitable social enterprises and to start Venture Villages to equip entrepreneurs across the globe.
*Image Credit: 2015 Ray Barreth