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Mind Your Business

Mind Your Business Week of 12-18-2013

A time of giving

During this holiday season, it’s good to know there are still a lot of good kind people who believe in helping others in need. I was sad to see on the news a woman getting a ticket for trying to help someone both financially and physically.

Is it wrong to try to help a fellow person who can not cross the street or help them do anything? I was in Wendy’s last week and a blind gentleman walked, proceeded to the register and asked if anybody was in front of him in line.

I said, “Yes. Two of us,” then assisted him to the counter and let him go in front of me. I event helped him to his seat. It didn’t cost me anything to be kind and understanding. Some people who have control of certain situations are just plain mean.

Since we are in the special season of giving, we have seen some people lose their minds being a secret Santa walking around stores like Wal-Mart buying gifts and giving out gift cards.

This is the time of year when charities increase their outreach to donors who traditionally wait to the fourth quarter to make annual gifts. And what would the season be without the Salvation Army ringing their bell and the red kettle?

You would hope, at this time of the year, we would not see so many people with hearts too small acting like Mr. Grinch from Who Ville. You don’t have to be a millionaire to have a heart and want to help someone else. My mother would always tell me “Jimmy, you may think you have it bad but there are people who are worst off than you.”

Over the years, I learned she was right. Riding downtown, you‘ll see so many homeless people lying on the heater crates trying to stay warm. Those who have jobs, living paycheck to paycheck, are far more blessed than many others.

Now I was happy when I saw Melinda and Bill Gates along with Warren Buffet create the Giving Pledge. In the last four years, they now have 122 signatories (including three deceased persons: Ted Forstmann, Peter Lewis and George Mitchell) all of whom have committed at least half of their wealth to charitable organizations of their choice.

That’s a great reason for them to want to help. I read where the Pledge isn’t just about encouraging the world’s wealthiest to give away more, but rather to get them to publicly embrace their philanthropy, with the hopes of inspiring others around the world. It also seeks to create a forum where these wealthy individuals and families can learn from one another, no matter how far along they are in their philanthropic endeavors.

“In this season of giving, we are inspired by the millions of people across the globe who give what they can in meaningful and significant ways. The Giving Pledge is rooted in this spirit and hopes to inspire people to tackle problems that are inherently difficult and diverse in an effort to address the pressing social issues they care about most,” said Melinda Gates.

The official website states that it is an effort to invite the wealthiest individuals and families in the world to commit to giving the majority of their wealth to philanthropy. As of April 28, 2011, 69 billionaires had joined the campaign and pledged to give 50 percent or more of their wealth to charity. An estimate of the contribution promised by the first 40 donors, based on their aggregate wealth as at August 2010, was at least $125 billion.

Now can I call on some of my friends like Hilton Smith and Julian Earls and Don Graham to give me a pledge to help me get a new car? (Laughing) That would be a lovely pledge.

According to the pledge from these billionaires, the donation can happen either during the lifetime or after the death of the donor. The pledge is a moral commitment to give, not a legal contract. Kindness grows from understanding others. In this day and time, we have made a lot of online friendships through Facebook and Twitter to name a few. You will benefit a lot from learning at least one other language too, enabling you to see the culture from the perspective of being immersed in its language.

So in this great season, when we should be doing good for others, remember to be happy and kind. Special shout out to James Taylor and his great singing wife Jean Taylor for being so kind and having a lot of fun with me during the birthday celebration of Ariane Kirkpatrick Couch.

I have enjoyed hearing Jean sing over the years but to be in her company was very special and we had fun. We all know misery loves company. Fortunately, kindness and happiness are even more contagious because people would rather feel good than be miserable.

By being kind in your actions and words you may tend to have friends who like and respect you. My mother always shared with me those typical old sayings you can up today and down tomorrow, never burn your bridges.

In saying all that, I am just saying you never know who you may need to ask for a favor and it’s good to be kind to everyone. And with me, if you don’t want to be nice to me or treat me nice, stay away from me and just ‘mind your business’ and leave mine alone.

Follow me on twitter @JimmyWadeIII

Write Wade at the Call & Post, 11800 Shaker Blvd., Cleveland, OH, 44120, or e-mail him at jwade@call-post.com.