By Chuck Sink
There is a lot of volunteerism and philanthropy going on all the time. Most businesses I know devote time, energy and money to showing up at fundraisers, volunteer events and simply giving for the sake of helping the less fortunate among us. Thank God for the generosity of so many in the business world. Giving back is a wonderful thing and many companies make it part of their business plans.
When we see and hear the authentic gratitude of individuals who are helped immeasurably by the generosity of corporate and personal giving, we get emotional because that’s where our selfless love is manifest – one child, man or woman at a time. It is in that one home (hopefully with more added and multiplied) where we witness the evidence of the goodness of our charity.
There are other, more profound works of charity being performed by a small portion of our society. They happen on the street, in the office, the classroom and even the boardroom. They are performed by people who have something in common. What that “something” is, I leave you to ponder.
Doubtless, you have been surprised at some point by extremely valuable help coming from others at great expense to them. Perhaps you felt obliged to pay them back, tried to and they forthrightly refused.
The simplest things like answering a stranger’s phone call, returning the calls and emails from salespeople you’ve engaged or from job hunters are acts that one can avoid without a business penalty (usually). He might even think it’s best not to waste the time because his time is far more valuable remaining focused on paying customers and weighing important business decisions. Maybe that salesperson or job hunter would be helped or encouraged by a brief and cheerful dialog.
Spending half a day of prime business hours, filling a gas tank and burning through tires costs real money. Doing things like that for non customers who need your professional expertise is a very kind thing to do. Such is an act of charity; selfless giving that fewer and fewer people seem willing to do. But these kinds of things create ripples in the world, noticed or not.
The latest example of business related kindness in my circle came from a man who wouldn’t expect an article to be written about him, nor would he consider whether or not the favor would be returned. So, to honor his genuine humility I’ll just offer a hyperlink to his website and let you know that my students really needed to hear from him yesterday and they did. Thank you, Steve!