• 97th International Peace Meditation “Built for Giving”

    “Built for Giving”

    As this Meditation was being prepared, people from around the world were responding in heartfelt generosity to the victims of the tsunami. The Executive Director of the International Institute For Human Empowerment, Inc., is sending an initial donation of $500 for disaster relief through Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) to the tsunami victims.

    Any donations the Institute receives designated “South Asia Tsunami Disaster 2004 Fund” will be forwarded to Lions Clubs International Foundation for dissemination to the disaster victims. According to a recent letter from Dr. Tae-Sup Lee, Chairperson, Board of Trustees of Lions Clubs International Foundation, “every dollar you contribute goes directly toward LCIF grants and projects!”

    While this tragedy has brought misery beyond our ability to contemplate, people are opening their hearts and sending relief. This outpouring helps not only the victims, but also those who care. Caring, giving, and reaching out to others is what makes us human. Lets give thanks for all of the love poured out in donations from around the world.

    January 2, 2005-Humans are built for giving. Innate within each of us is the desire to give and to help others. Fulfilling jobs are realized when they involve giving of oneself. Human services positions allow one to see the result of giving in the improvement of the quality of life of others. Whether we work at home, in business, or in service professions, the ability to give to help others is the common denominator that provides us with a sense of happiness and fulfillment.

    In a social culture that sees profit as the motive, it is often difficult to reconcile these two positions. Do we want a life that finds fulfillment in giving? Do we want a life with monetary gratification? Can we have both? Why do jobs that work toward the profit motive pay more–at least, at the leadership level? What does that say about what we value?

    In the West, we satisfy this distinction by having businesses and corporations that are set up as for-profit and not-for-profit. Those set up as for-profit are expected to have profit as the major objective. A business that operates is seen as successful based upon the “bottom line.” It is not necessarily viewed as successful because of its humanitarian responses, even when these accompany a strong gain. The ability to “give” within these organizations often falls to the individual to be kind and supportive to co-workers and customers. But the greater need to give often is lacking.

    In not-for-profits, the motive is service to others. On occasion, an organization has become contaminated by the profit motive, and used their corporate tax advantage inappropriately. When that occurs, others who desire to serve, often at great personal expense, are injured by public reaction that tends to distrust and punish. Giving will be restricted when the obstacles to giving are too great. It is important that we ensure that all of our institutions are designed in the public interest of promoting service.

    We need to begin to look at service not only as a human want, but also as a human need. And we need to build the opportunity to give into all of our organizations, including government. This does not mean to give unequally, favoring some over others, especially from the power of governmental position. The purpose of government is to serve people. We need to look at how we are structured, and what we value, to assess if that is really occurring. Monitoring is one role of government, but it should not be the only role. Monitoring limits abuse, but it does not have a value-added component of service for the betterment of society.

    Giving is often discussed when there is a profit motive. Consider retail at the time of religious events such as those recently experienced by many. Even as the religious holiday approached, the merchandise for the next holiday was being displayed so that no time would be lost to the retail market. The day after Christmas, it is difficult to tell that it is still part of the holiday season as Valentine and other incentive buying is promoted. This is not giving. This is taking advantage of a holiday that promotes love and caring through the expression of giving.

    We, as humans, came into this world with a capacity for service to humanity. Some of this service is expressed in our families, some in our communities, and some by service in organizations that serve more broadly. But, all of us are born with the innate need to give. It is the individual’s responsibility to find the area when he/she most desires to give, and to put ones life into service in that area. None of us is exempt. And when we find the fulfillment we need through service, we will not need to escape into alcohol, drugs, and crime. We will know that we have purpose and that we are needed. We will feel connected not only to those we serve, and to those with whom we serve, but we will feel connected to the universal human spirit. We will find that caring makes us feel alive. And when we do, the world will be better because we lived.

    There are many ways to give. Each person needs to give as he or she is able. Small gifts are not small, because they represent the giving of the heart. Each gift given will increase our sense of fulfillment and our understanding of the joy of giving.

    At this time of the New Year, and in 2005, a time of great natural disaster in many countries, and war in others, please reflect on your life, and what it means to be human. If you do not feel fulfilled in your current job, consider how you can change yourself within your job to be able to help others. Retail can offer opportunities to help the customer. Government service can provide opportunities to advocate for those poorly served. Human services must find a way to make service to the people they serve their first priority. Profit as a bottom line can include profit for the customer.

    Looking out only for ourselves is not a cultural value we can afford. We are an international community. We are global citizens. What happens to one happens to all. We cannot allow oppression or natural disaster to destroy others while we look the other way. We are each our brothers and sisters keeper because we are human. And when we experience the joy of giving service to others, we will know personal peace in the midst of suffering, joy in the midst of pain, and hope for the peace of the world.

    We hope you will visit our web site at www.humanempowerment.org and participate in this important mission to bring empowering messages and beliefs to everyone.

    And, only if you are able, please consider contributing to the mission of the International Institute For Human Empowerment, Inc. Please give so that others might more fully live.

    Sue Kidd Shipe
    Executive Director

    You may contribute online via PayPal:

    Or send your contributions to:
    International Institute For Human Empowerment, Inc.
    P.O. Box 3920
    Albany, New York 12203 USA
    Please make checks or money orders out to:
    International Institute For Human Empowerment, Inc.

    The International Institute For Human Empowerment, Inc. is a 501 ( C )( 3 ) tax-exempt organization recognized by the United States Government. Your contribution within the USA is tax-exempt.
    Sue Kidd Shipe, Executive Director
    International Institute For Human Empowerment, Inc.
    P. O. Box 3920
    Albany, New York  12203   USA
    (518) 393-9491

    Please write and let us know how we can better serve you.

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