Thankful For Trees I Did Not Plant

Think back to a time you experienced a hot afternoon.

The sun was scorching. Your skin was sizzling. Sweat was slithering down your face. You wanted nothing more than to have a bucket of ice cold water dumped on your head.  Unfortunately this wasn’t the Super Bowl, so the Gatorade shower was nowhere to be found.

When all else seemed lost, you noticed a huge, shaded saving grace. You ambled over to a giant oak tree and tumbled in joy at the earthy covering the tree provided.

Oh what a feeling!

What had just been sweltering heat instantly because a serene summer day (if only for a moment).

The tree that made you feel calm, cool and protected, did you ever stop to think about where that came from.

Probably not, and I don’t blame you. Trees are just kind of there, right?

Isn’t that an awesome thought?

The thing you needed most on that miserably boiling day was just kind of there. It was already there, just waiting for you.

Journalist, Walter Lippmann, once wrote that “men plant trees they will never sit under.”

Think about it…When was the last time you sat under a tree that you actually planted? One in your back yard, maybe?

Most of the time we enjoy shade from trees we had nothing to do with planting or growing.

I heard an interview with Warren Buffett and he pointed to the Lippmann quote as to why he is so generous with his fortune.

“We’ve had the shade and other people have planted those (trees),” Buffett said. “And so I think it behooves people in that position to plant a few trees themselves.”

Buffett recognizes that he profited greatly from the work of others. I think it is important that we all recognize the same.

We all benefit from something we had nothing to do with growing.

It could be an actual tree, or a business or even Facebook.

I had nothing to do with WordPress, the blogging platform used to publish this post, but I benefit from it. You likely had nothing to do with WordPress, but if you enjoy this blog or others, you too benefit.

I can point to dozens of other trees that I did not grow that I use on a daily basis.

Where would I be if someone hadn’t taken the time to plant those? Luckily I don’t have to answer that question.

So today I am thankful for the trees I did not plant. I am thankful for their shade and I am thankful for their inspiration to plant a few trees of my own.

Thankful Thursday(Click the image above for more Thankful Thursday posts)

Giving With Purpose

How much would you pay to have the opportunity to learn from Warren Buffett?

How great would it be to give away some of Buffett’s money?

What if I told you that you could do both and it wouldn’t cost you a dime.  Thanks to the Learning by Giving Foundation, anyone can participate in the first ever Massive Open Online Course (M.O.O.C.) in Philanthropy.

Titled GivingWithPurpose, the course is broken up into six online classes, each featuring shorter lessons. The first five classes include a twenty to thirty minute guest speaker video, which students can watch anytime they want. The speakers include the following:

·         Warren & Doris Buffett – Two siblings who form the investor/philanthropist duo of all time.

·         Cal Ripken Jr. – Hall of Fame baseball player.

·         Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield – Creators of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream.

·         Soledad O’Brien – Anchor and special correspondent for CNN.

·         Thomas C. Werner – Chairman of the Boston Red Sox.

GivingWithPurpose aims to help students achieve two complementary objectives:

1. Learn tips & strategies for effective charitable giving;

2. Help distribute the Foundation’s money to local nonprofits.

The course is based on the RISE Framework for Social Change, developed by GivingWithPurpose Professor, Rebecca Riccio.

The course has already started, but it is not too late to join. They are accepting registration through July. Anyone who is interested can click here for more information.

I have signed up for the course and have completed lessons one and two so far.  I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is interested in philanthropy.

I am very thankful for great organizations and opportunities like this.