This week’s Escape Plan challenge (aka our Tip of the Week) is #22: This Little Light of Mine: Do something to make the world a better place.
When it comes to helping make the world a better place, there are lots of options here in Madison. Supposedly Wisconsin’s capital has more nonprofit organizations per capita than any other city in the nation. That’s pretty darn cool.
“The greatest exercise for the human heart is to reach down and lift someone up.”
I heard this quote in a powerful interview on CNN recently highlighting Jon Huntsman, a self-made billionaire who is spending his hard-earned cash on one thing… curing cancer! Inspired by the loss of his mother at a young age from cancer, he founded the Huntsman Cancer Institute in her honor. The dedicated folks there are working endlessly to not only cure cancer but to help improve the lives of cancer patients and their families. His namesake HCI building holds this quote “Selfless giving unto others represents one’s true wealth.” Time Magazine identified Huntsman as the sixth largest philanthropist in the United States in 2000. In 2007, he gave $750 million in contributions and donations. He proudly shared in this candid interview with Glenn Beck that he plans to die bankrupt.
Men like Mr. Huntsman both humble and inspire me to think bigger and give more. You don’t have to be a billionaire before you start sharing the gifts you’ve been given. In today’s busy world, sharing your time if often a greater challenge than sharing money.
So, exercise your heart this week. Share a comment on the Escape Plan Blog of what you decide to do to make the world a better place.
I was lucky enough to hear Mr. Huntsman speak a few years ago when I was a student at the University of Utah. I too was inspired by his generousity. He mentioned something else that really urged me to do more with what I have. I may not have all the facts exactly right, but this is what I remember.
He and his wife were both still college students when they married. They were both going to school and working and struggling to make ends meet. But even in that difficult financial situation, they determined to donate a percentage of their income to charity.
I think it’s easy for us “normal” people to look at those rich people on the Time Magazine list and think “Well, I’d donate a lot too, if I had that much money.” And when I heard Huntsman speak, I too was a college student, working and trying to make ends meet. I had always thought that I wanted to help others, but I’d do so when I was in a better financial situation.
His story helped me to realize that we all have more than most, and even a little bit helps. We should all do as much as we can to help others with what we have right now.