Higher Education, Higher Hypocrisy?
I founded www.berniesbookbank.org on my credit card for $5,000 in December 2009.
Don’t worry, it’s since been paid off.
So I’ve been raising awareness and funds for the book bank for more than 13 years now.
You do what you have to do to do what you want to do, right?
So I wouldn’t trade it for the anything.
And, thanks to the help and trust of many, we now have a budget of more than $4 MILLION annually.
But I learned early on, I/we, are not just in “competition” with other charities for dollars, we’re in competition with EVERYONE for dollars – Starbucks, car dealers, pizza shops, Amazon, literally anywhere else someone might deploy their money.
I’ve always welcomed the challenge; a fight worth fighting and even find it FUN.
But my “arch-rival” for funds has and is, HIGHER EDUCATION, by far.
I/we are literally in competition with the alma maters of every potential donor.
You ever noticed – you could change your last name multiple times, maybe even change your identity completely, and the development team of your alma mater ALWAYS finds you?
This competition I speak of, between charities and alma maters, it’s not even close to a fair fight.
It’s like David & Goliath, since most college and university development teams are staffed with hundreds of people, and their pursuit is relentless.
The irony of all of this is actually pretty fascinating, once I get past the frustration.
Literacy for All vs. HIGHER EDUCATION.
Look, I get the emotional connection one might have towards their university or college, I really do.
But it has always baffled me the extent to which people, really smart people, give to their alma mater, considering the amount of money they already spent to receive their college degree. AND, this is the kicker, the literally BILLIONS of dollars of endowments these institutions are already sitting on.
How much you ask?
As of 2020, $691 BILLION.
If this topic interests you, I believe you’ll find the following article to be interesting.
Here’s a short excerpt…
“No one can stop Harvard, Yale, and Stanford from coming with hat in hand. It’s a free country, after all. But while the resulting donations may be generous, they are not just. Rather, they are the culminating acts of an illusion that begins at birth, and to which almost all students, alumni and faculty at elite schools ultimately succumb: the false belief that the system to which they belong does good”.
Enter with an open mind: Stop Donating to Your Elite University, The Atlantic
We all love it when we are forgiven, right?
No matter if it is for something small or big.
We seem to be very adept at accepting forgiveness,
But very reluctant to give it away.
I’m with you, it’s hard.
But recently I heard a compelling quote about choosing to not forgive.
Nelson Mandela said this about choosing not to forgive, “Not forgiving someone is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”
Nothing good comes from resentment, for anyone.
Never has, never will.
I pose this question to myself & you.
Which one do you want more:
to be right,
or to be FREE?
This week’s honorable mention, bystander.
We love to observe and play “arm-chair” quarterback whenever we possibly can.
That’s easy, anyone can do that.
But it takes someone special to get in the arena and mix it up a bit.
Less talk, more action!
Quotes worth a re-quote
“It is at the bottom where we find grace: for like water, grace seeks the lowest place and there it pools.” – Richard Rohr (recommended reading by Richard Rohr, “Falling Upward”)
“Aging is like enlightenment at gunpoint”– Anna Halprin
“What if we ceased to pledge our allegiance to the bottom line and stood, instead, with those who line the bottom.” – Father Greg Boyle (recommended reading by Father Greg Boyle, “Tattoos on the Heart”)
“To be wronged is nothing, unless you continue to remember it.” – Confucius
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” – Gandhi
“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” – Mark Twain
“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.” – Nelson Mandela