Gratitude and Goodness: A Virtuous Cycle

Thanksgiving has all the time been my favourite vacation, and it kicks off what, for me, is a really particular time of 12 months. The vacations are more likely to appear and feel lots completely different this 12 months, which implies it’s extra necessary than ever to embrace the spirit of the season. The occasions of 2020 have shaken us all—and so they’re a reminder of simply how lucky many people are.

The chance to present thanks is an enormous a part of why I like this time of 12 months. For me, although, these annual celebrations are additionally a reminder to present extra than simply thanks.

Linking Gratitude to Giving

Years in the past, I had the distinct pleasure of assembly Mom Teresa. I had traveled to Calcutta with a gaggle of executives, and we had the chance to go to her Residence for the Pure Coronary heart, previously generally known as Mom Teresa’s Kalighat Residence for the Dying and Destitute. The expertise (which I recalled in this weblog publish) had an incredible impression on me.

In every single place I appeared, there was struggling, but it was countered by the palpable compassion of the sisters who cared for the sufferers. It was extraordinarily poignant. Later, once we spoke with Mom Teresa, she stunned me by expressing her appreciation for what we did—how companies can present individuals with jobs and enhance their lives.

Then, she added a delicate admonition I’ve by no means forgotten: “If in case you have cash . . . use it,” she stated. “Don’t simply go away it within the financial institution. Put it to work.”

I used to be struck by two emotions throughout that have: wanting to present thanks for simply how fortunate I’ve been, and an awesome want to present again. One feeling naturally led to the opposite.

Gratitude is inextricably linked to giving.

Exchanging Cash for What Actually Issues

At Commonwealth, cash is on the root of what we do—we’re a for-profit enterprise, in spite of everything, and we actually cope with cash daily. And whereas it could actually’t essentially purchase happiness, cash does purchase alternatives: to chase our goals, to help our households, and to enhance the lives of others. One of many classes I’ve taken from my 40-plus years at Commonwealth is that cash is a medium of alternate. We alternate it for what actually issues.

These days, what issues to me has more and more included philanthropy, a logical extension of Commonwealth’s dedication to creating a profound distinction on the planet. An enormous a part of that has been launching The Elevate Prize. A few of you will have heard my discuss “Making a Profound Distinction” at our latest Nationwide Convention, the place I highlighted the progress we’ve made with The Elevate Prize. However for individuals who don’t know, it’s an annual seek for changemakers, whereby its winners aren’t simply awarded cash but in addition complete help (together with 1:1 mentorship, academic coaching, and entry to skilled networks) to assist scale their worthy causes. I’m excited to announce that we now have our first cohort of winners! They’re all wonderful. I’m humbled and impressed by the work they’ve achieved already, and I’m excited to see what’s doable with our assist.

As a result of a part of the mission of The Elevate Prize is to catalyze constructive change and awaken the hero in all of us, we imagine an necessary a part of realizing that is to additionally present our winners with a platform: to share their tales and broaden their viewers and to assist create a world fanbase for them.

When extra individuals hear concerning the unbelievable work these social heroes are doing, they’ll really feel impressed to take motion themselves—simply as I felt when seeing the work being achieved by the sisters on the Residence for the Pure Coronary heart.

Motivating All of Us to Combat for a Higher Future

It’s been a difficult 12 months for the entire world. But it surely’s additionally shone a lightweight on these people and organizations who’re utilizing what’s occurring round us as motivation to struggle for a greater future. I’m so honored to be part of serving to these heroes make the world a greater place.

Which brings me again to giving thanks: I’m enormously grateful to the Commonwealth staff, our advisors, and everybody who helps make our success doable. With out you, The Elevate Prize merely couldn’t have grow to be a actuality. So, thanks, all!

I hope you and your family members have a beautiful vacation season.