December 2008

Friends.

Two individuals that I have loved getting to know through PathNorth are Tom Eckert and Tim Shriver. Both are unusual people of great talent and accomplishment, making a difference in their own unique ways. Recently, Tom sent me the attached article in Sports Illustrated about The Special Olympics. I was again reminded of what a difference the Shriver family has made in public life. Rather than living a privileged existence with little regard for others, the Shriver children were prodded and inspired to care for others. In that context, Eunice Shriver launched this incredible organization for the mentally challenged, while husband Sergeant Shriver pioneered in the early 60s the Peace Corps with his brother-in-law, President Kennedy. While both have aged and slowed down considerably, their life and legacy continues to inspire us. By word and deed these parents instilled all of the 'right' things in their children. I love having Tim as a friend. Despite his own great accomplishments, he possesses a humility that is winning. He currently runs the Special Olympics in his mother's stead, standing on the shoulders of those before him.

I have had the great fortune to talk with Tim at length about growing up in such a family where, on a daily basis, service was ingrained. This is an example for us all to study.

At this time of year, I am pondering the thought of gaining by giving. All evidence points to the fact that the measure we give is the measure we get. This is a pretty curious truth woven into the very fabric of life.

I recall when Ray Chambers, Geoff Boisi, Bob Woody, myself and others started a national mentoring organization called One to One. It was a unique initiative to which Ray especially brought his unique skill set as a financial engineer to this challenging work by using financial incentives to motivate 'at risk' young people to stay in school. One day I will never forget was when Ray asked me to accompany him to meet outside of Detroit with the founder of Domino's Pizza, Tom Monaghan. Aboard his plane, I asked Ray about our agenda with Mr. Monaghan. Ray explained matter of factly that he thought it would be a great strategy to buy this remarkable company and then provide opportunities for young people to earn ownership shares in the company through hard work and good behavior. I was a bit stunned by such a large idea but had learned that with Ray, all things were indeed possible.

I also remember something else about that time. As we got into the elevator at the Domino's headquarters with the smell of pizza wafting throughout the place, Ray and I had an intriguing exchange. Ray asked why I thought that we both felt so good when we were in this mode of 'giving' time and treasure. I paused and then replied that Jesus had something to contribute to an understanding of this matter. Jesus said that the man who would lose his life would actually find it. Thus, we are most alive, happiest and fulfilled when we are giving rather than taking. This is a truth that has been tested and found right for thousands of years.

The Shriver family has surely discovered this remarkable truth...as have many of you.

I often wonder: what will be my unique legacy? These crazy and challenging days provide an opportunity to discover what really matters to us.

During these difficult times, the question is there....what does it mean for you and I to give our lives away to others?

Merry Christmas!

doug

 

http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1149366/index.htm

As we approach the end of the year, I hope
each of you will take a moment to read the
Sports Illustrated article about my mom -
not because she is my mother but because
her message and the spirit of the article inspire
and motivate us to do so much more each year.   
 
I wish you and your family a fantastic holiday Season.
Thanks a million for your everlasting support.  
We are Best Buddies.

Anthony K. Shriver and the Best Buddies team

 

Spouses always welcome to our annual meetings in New York and Washington, DC.

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