Today’s Word: ‘Minds’ as in… generous minds create generous communities.
With all due respect to all of the Bob Smith’s in the world, Bob Smith is a pretty unremarkable name. But what Robert F. Smith did for 400 graduating seniors from Morehouse College in Atlanta Georgia just one month ago was anything but unremarkable.
Robert Smith was invited to come to Morehouse College to deliver a commencement address and receive an honorary degree. That’s a standard part of any college graduation ceremony. But there was nothing standard about what Robert F. Smith did.
In his commencement address, Smith who is the founder and CEO of the private equity firm challenged his fellow classmates to use what they had earned to create change and opportunity in the lives of others, to encourage and inspire others for service and outreach. In one way it was like dozens of other commencement speeches given to graduating classes of 2019. But in the final three minutes of his speech Smith surprised everyone with an announcement that he and his family would set up a grant to pay off the nearly 400 graduating seniors’ student loans. The total gift was estimated to be about $40 million.
The place went nuts.
Dwight Lewis, a graduate, formerly a homeless young man from Compton California, said afterward that having the weight of his student loans wiped away is motivating him to charge into the future unhindered in order to pay it forward.
Smith is a wealthy man, a very wealthy man. But here’s the deal: this story isn’t about the money. This story is about the heart. This story isn’t about the wealth of a family. It’s about the wealth of a family’s heart. And what moves the heart? Generous acts of love.
Generosity creates generosity. Generous minds create generous communities.
The question for us is this: because we’ve been blessed with enough, how will be pay that forward? How will we bless the lives of others?
The details may vary. But one thing is always the same: the power of a generous act creates something deeply shifting in people’s lives.