Lessons from a Pineapple

I’ve always liked my first column of the New Year to be optimistic and thought provoking. In years past I’ve written about the relationship between religion and giving, how giving enriches the soul, and how helping others helps us enjoy life more. This year I was having difficulty coming up with a concept for myContinue reading “Lessons from a Pineapple”

The Best New Year’s Resolutions

Quit smoking. Lose weight. Enjoy life. Help others. These are four of the most common New Year’s resolutions, according to most everyone who surveys such things. Chances are that a couple of these are on your list as well. Sadly, less than one out of every three people will fulfill one of their New Year’sContinue reading “The Best New Year’s Resolutions”

Cause Marketing: Good for Business, Not Always for Charity

When a business affiliates its brand with a beloved charity, it’s good for the company’s bottom line. Countless studies have conclusively shown that consumers are far more willing to spend money at a business if they know a percentage of their purchase is going to a nonprofit organization they respect. Unfortunately, evidence is mounting thatContinue reading “Cause Marketing: Good for Business, Not Always for Charity”

My Father is Still Teaching Me About Generosity

Every year the Door County Community Foundation presents an event called Preview Door County for our friends in Southwest Florida. From our vibrant arts community to our wonderful music, to those who steward and protect our environment treasures, the goal of Preview Door County is to remind our seasonal residents that so much of whatContinue reading “My Father is Still Teaching Me About Generosity”

The Virtuous Circle of Gratitude

“We believe that we have established a rather easily implemented strategy for improving one’s level of well-being,” write Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough. “Our results provide some important findings that have not been reported in the empirical literature on happiness. There do appear to exist benefits to regularly focusing on one’s blessings.” Using the dryContinue reading “The Virtuous Circle of Gratitude”

Your Generosity is Our Sustainability

In the physical world, “sustainability” generally refers to the use of resources in such a way that does neither permanent harm to the environment, nor depletes its natural resources. It is a state of ecological balance in which society’s impact on the world does not exceed the ability of nature to regenerate itself. While weContinue reading “Your Generosity is Our Sustainability”

We’re More Than Consumers

The wonderful thing about this time of year is whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or Festivus, there is a spirit that ties all of these holidays together. Fundamentally, this time of year is about giving. Unfortunately, Madison Avenue advertising firms have convinced us that during the holidays “shopping” is a synonym for “giving.” IfContinue reading “We’re More Than Consumers”

Thanksgiving and American Exceptionalism

Nearly 400 years ago, over 100 passengers boarded the ship Mayflower and set sail for the “New World.” Their destination was the mouth of the Hudson River, but two months of sailing over perilous seas blew them farther north than anticipated. The Mayflower ultimately dropped anchor in December near Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Unprepared for theContinue reading “Thanksgiving and American Exceptionalism”

Black Friday on Thanksgiving Isn’t the Real Problem

For nearly 20 years, my lovely wife Cari and I had a special Black Friday tradition. In the wee hours after Thanksgiving, she would get up at 2 am to stand in line outside a series of retail stores so she could grab the greatest bargains of the season. In the early days of thisContinue reading “Black Friday on Thanksgiving Isn’t the Real Problem”