- Category: Philanthropy
- Published on Friday, 14 September 2012 01:00
- Written by Ed Lynch
“Give back” is a very common expression of giving that, personally, I don’t care for. Let me use George Propstra as an example. He provided a superior product at a good price and we, the public, responded. To me that is the American way. He didn’t take anything from us; he offered us something we wanted.
In my view, givers are givers. For example, the biggest giver of all in a church might be an older lady or gentleman living on a very meager pension and quietly sitting in the back row, finding five or ten dollars to give each Sunday. There are also those who live on very modest incomes yet spend an amazing portion of their free time volunteering for a Little League team or at a rest home. They are giving to the reasonable maximum of their capacity. My point is that when we think of givers in our society, let’s not forget the real givers who are often known but to a few.
So what about Ed? As a giver I certainly rank below those examples above. My wife and I were teenagers during the Great Depression and we married in 1947 after World War II ended. We both started saving money the day we were married, almost certainly due to our memories of the Great Depression. Money at that time was exceedingly scarce and the little that we earned from babysitting and delivering/selling newspapers had to be used for the family’s benefit. The result of our savings and investing was that we were in very good financial shape upon my retirement from earning a living and, therefore, in a position to give more than we had previously.
I give. However, at the same time, I live in comfort, travel at will and reluctantly spend money on political affairs. Certainly I could give more by not spending as much as I do on myself. Regardless of all of the above, the facts and the excuses, the bottom line is that I give because it is the right thing to do.