Thursday, July 7, 2011
Yesterday, July 6th, was the Dalai Lama's birthday. This amazing man who has inspired the world with his compassion, humility, strength and humor turned 76.
Of course the Dalai Lama is not a fundraiser. He's a prophet and a spiritual teacher. To some he may even be God.
But, if I may be so crass, he also embodies what is best about this crazy profession we call fundraising because he's an advocate for true happiness.
Not the short-lived happiness that comes from buying new shoes, taking drugs, winning a lottery or eating chocolate cake.
The happiness that comes from living in the here and now, reconciling with old friends and new and recognizing that we are all human beings with a desire to live healthy, happy and fulfilling lives.
In my book, good fundraising is about developing this kind of kindness and compassion toward yourself, your clients and your work.
It's about exercising a desire to make the world a little better off than you found it and inspiring others to join in!
We will never end the pain in the world. Pain, it seems, is part and parcel of our basic humanity.
But we can end suffering.
We can reach for each other. We can set aside our egos. We can listen more and talk less. We can give more than we take.
Join me in wishing the Dalai Lama a happy 76th and be kind to yourself today.
Remember that you are a gift to the universe. You are loved and cared for and deeply needed.