Saturday, November 07, 2009

The Best kind of Revolutionary

Much praise this week for Harley Hotchkiss, local businessman, who donated 40 million dollars of his money to the University of Calgary brain research institute that he started in 2004 with a 10 million dollar gift. From a conversation with Mr Hotchkiss last year, Gena Rotstein summarized his philanthropic philosophy:

"Your priorities are family THEN job. Your job will provide you with he means to support your community financially, but your family is what connects you to that community.

You don't have to be wealthy to be philanthropic. (Mr. Hotchkiss's first philanthropic activity was flooding the community hockey rink and coaching the kids)

When you are ready to give, it should "hurt" a little. If your donation doesn't make you consider giving something up (even if it is a latte a week) then you are not giving enough.

Philanthropy should be about building community, not just giving money."

As another 5th of November passes by, it's worthy to recognize those revolutionaries who are living and leading by example. I'm not sure he or anyone else would consider Hotchkiss a revolutionary but actually, he's the best kind. He doesn't proselytize or intimidate or guilt people into action, he doesn't exaggerate omit or fib in making his case. He merely evaluates what he can do and does it. It is the nature of his own contribution that compels imitation. It is the results of his actions that inspire others to do likewise.

These days, that is revolutionary.

1 comment:

rainswept said...

Very good. That is, indeed, philanthropy.

Your action on behalf of others, or their action on behalf of you, is only virtuous when it is derived from voluntary, mutual consent. For virtue can only exist when there is free choice. ~from Jonathan's Principles