I feel great admiration every time I hear of a successful person who has decided to give of money and time to support the organization that helped them develop. Quite often success comes by sacrificing today so you can reap the rewards of your work later. Giving back is paving the future for others so they can achieve success in their lives and continue the cycle.
It has been said, happiness is truly gained not by what we gather through our lives but by the joy we provide others in our lives. As a parent we know this to be true.
Most often we see this with financial donations to important institutions that supported us. However, the most valuable commodity a successful person can give is of their time. Every institution values money that can make a difference in the lives of their future students. However, giving time to share a perspective, experiences and expertise can have a longer lasting impact. Both are important.
Being the first to attend and graduate college can change a trajectory of an entire family. Choosing a path of service, of global perspective, of entrepreneurship and striving for the American dream is also enlightening to a family. Look at all the families that have a legacy of working together and handing a business down to the next generation.
Let us all focus on helping every family even if it is just that one youth believing they can achieve the American dream. It will naturally support a new family tradition of success whatever form it takes. This can be the way we all Pay It Forward.