But all that’s just “yada-yada-yada” salad to business folks trying to bite down on the idea of giving. What they really need is more of a main course dripping with reasons to stomach the expense. So here’s a few more sound-bites to beef-up “what’s in it for me”:
- “When a man dies he clutches in his hands only that which he has given away during his lifetime.” ~ Jean Jacques Rousseau
- “You cannot do a kindness too soon because you never know how soon it will be too late.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
- “Better to light one small candle than to curse the darkness.” ~ Chinese Proverb (Geez, I love my peeps)
Learnings: The payoff of giving is largely rooted in the creation of one’s legacy. For many, legacy starts and stops with pooping out kids. But legacy for the advanced giver means having an impact far beyond your gene pool and even beyond your time on the planet. And for those that believe in the after-life, giving is a means of converting worldly assets into after-life assets: you know the saying “you can’t take it with you”–well may be you can. Who knows, you might at least get an express pass for the Judgement Line at the Pearly Gates. But whether or not you believe in the after-life, the moral of this story is that it pays to invest in giving: i.e., when you’re on your deathbed, legacy is one of the few currencies that’ll hold its value.