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
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.
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.
recall when Ray Chambers, Geoff Boisi, Bob Woody, myself and others
started a national mentoring organization called One to
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
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.
difficult times, the question is there....what does it mean for
you and I to give our lives away to others?