Reflections From the Giving Path

The eyes of the nation gazed on southeastern Michigan recently as the presidential primary campaigns continue to heat up. Many charged moments have been witnessed on both sides of the political fence as debates and campaign speeches have dotted the media landscape here the past few weeks.

Many wild and memorable quotes have come from this marathon of political rhetoric, but somehow, some voices of reason emerged from the storm. One candidate hinted that whoever ends up being elected, no matter who it is, isn’t going to be able to address all the challenges that lie before us as a nation and claimed the answers will be found through engaged local citizenry, neighborhood by neighborhood.

It reminded me of a statement credited to President John F. Kennedy, “ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”  It reminded me of the importance of rising above the fray to reflect on what’s most important in our communities – each other.

Living a life on the giving path means there is no waiting for Detroit, Lansing, or Washington to solve community issues. It means instead of looking far away, we turn our gaze inward and ask what we can do to make a difference.

Southeast Michigan is home to many active and vibrant nonprofit organizations seeking help to accomplish their missions. In addition to the positive energy these organizations bring to the table, it’s clear so much more needs to be done. They need industrious people to pitch in and help. Each of us has something to give. At the very least, we can be tireless givers.

Interestingly, I tuned into the coverage to learn more about the candidates running for President, but I came away more motivated than ever to jump in and do more in my own community.

~ Tony Werner, President & CEO, Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation