NEW paradigm in giving is actually OLD

The New Paradigm in Philanthropy – it’s really quite old.

In 1630, John Winthrop was sailing west to a new land, America.  He was leaving England to build and lead a new community in a wilderness.  He knew that it would be difficult and would take persistence to achieve the aim of creating a new type of society.  So on the long journey across the Atlantic, he wrote a sermon addressing the ideas of independence and INTER-DEPENDENCE that would be necessary for all to succeed.

In Winthrop’s day, as in ours, he realized that to work for one’s self and one’s family was an important motivator in building community success.  However, he saw peril and “shipwreck” of the local economy and the Massachusetts Bay Colony if the residents did not also work to support each other in mutual generosity . . .

From the conclusion of this sermon:

Now the only way to avoid this shipwreck, and to provide for our posterity, is to follow the counsel of Micah: to do justly, to love mercy, to walk humbly with our God.

For this end, we must be knit together, in this work, as one man.

We must entertain each other in brotherly affection.

We must be willing to abridge ourselves of our superfluities, for the supply of other’s necessities.

We must uphold a familiar commerce together in all meekness, gentleness, patience and liberality.

We must delight in each other; make other’s conditions our own;

rejoice together, mourn together, labor and suffer together,

always having before our eyes our commission and community in the work, as members of the same body.

So shall we keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace.

This was the core principle of private philanthropic endeavor in the United States.  It is a voluntary system of working together for a common end.  It is a harmonious cooperation that allows for freedom of choice at all times.  In modern terms, this harmonious cooperation we call a “Mastermind”.

Becoming part of a Mastermind Group means joining together with like-minded people to achieve our aims and goals.  Each person in the group brings something different to the table and each has unique goals. Despite this seeming disparity of talent and desires, they all work toward of a common aim of learning and applying what they learn from each other to achieve success in their individual lives.

As John Winthrop realized in the 17th century, unless we all cooperate and share our tangible and intangible assests, the community will dissolve and our power to do good will dissipate.

Reflect on the economic news  in the past few weeks.  It is not getting better, folks.  The only way for the economy to get better is for each of US to make it better.  But we can’t do it alone.  Stop waiting for someone else to do something – you have unique gifts and talents that are lying dormant.  Those special skills can be developed to help your own situation and that of others.

How to take the first steps in improving your own personal economy:

  1. Join a Mastermind Group (See the MASTERMIND tab of this blog.)
  2. Join the weekly conversation – MAKING GOOD WORK – a radio program dedicated to non-profit excellence and success. (See the RADIO tab of this blog.)

I invite you to explore using a Mastermind Group as a way to build your organization and to MAKE GOOD WORK!

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Posted on August 6, 2011, in Excellence, Innovations, Inspirations and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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