When you sum up all that you have done this year, will the overwhelming opinion be that you did well?  I hope that’s true for you.  I also hope that’s true for me.
When Jeff and I think about major gift fundraising and how we did this year and what people thought was important to us – when all our actions, words and counsel are complete –and all the chatter dies down, when all those we have touched and served are quiet and reflective –  will folks have said we accomplished our tasks and did well?
I suppose it’s normal to want to be thought of in a positive light.
After all, the entire program we are involved in, that of helping good people do good with their resources, is a very special thing.  I hope you see it that way.  It’s not just a job, it’s a way of being.  It’s a mentality – a way of thinking.  It doesn’t only happen from 9 to 5.  It happens all the time.
I love reading the works of philosophers and teachers on this subject.  No matter what your position is on faith, philosophy and ideology, there is always something good to extract from the thoughts and writings of others.
On the subject of “speaking well of me,” I particularly like these thoughts from an Old Testament writer:
Whoever heard of me spoke well of me, and those who saw me commended me, because:

  • I rescued the poor who cried for help.
  • And the fatherless who had none to assist him.
  • The man who was dying blessed me.
  • I made the widow’s heart sing.
  • I put on righteousness as my clothing.
  • Justice was my robe and my turban.
  • I was eyes to the blind and feet to the lame.
  • I was a father to the needy.
  • I took up the case of the stranger.
  • I broke the fangs of the wicked and snatched the victims from their teeth.

For Jeff and me, this is a good list to help us measure and guide our attitudes and behavior.
I pass it on to you with a hope that as you look at the year that is coming ahead you will find a glimmer of light for your journey in doing good.