David Campbell (Co-Author of American Grace) has a piece in TIME.com on the link between religion and giving.
Over the last twenty years, one of the most stunning changes to the American social landscape has been the dramatic rise in the percentage of Americans who report having no religious affiliation—the group that has come to be known as the “nones.” Today, 20 percent of Americans disclaim a religious affiliation,and among millennials, it is over 30 percent. At the same time, there has been a growing debate over whether the secularization of society will lead to a decrease in charitable giving, with secularists—whether they consider themselves atheists, agnostics, or humanists—tending to argue that fewer religious Americans will simply mean fewer contributions to pay for churches and synagogues that fewer Americans are attending anyway.
Not exactly. A new report by Jumpstart and the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy details the many ways that religion and the charitable sector are intertwined. Based on a major national survey, this report finds that three-quarters of all household charitable giving goes to organizations that have religious ties. These span the range from large organizations like the Salvation Army (which, many Americans do not realize, is actually a church) to small soup kitchens run out of church basements.
Read the rest of David Campbell’s “Religious People are More Charitable” (TIME.com, 11/26/13)
Posted in american grace, charity, david campbell, giving, millennials, nones, religion, secular, TIME
Tagged american grace, charity, david campbell, giving, millennials, nones, religion, secular, TIME
Kevin Carey, director of the education-policy program at the New America Foundation, writes in Chronicle of Higher Education the speech he wished the dean of admissions had given to the incoming class at Stanford:
I know this is an important day for all of you. You have spent years of your lives trying to get here. Driving into Stanford this morning must have seemed like living a long-imagined dream. And yet, I know many of you are nagged by something. …”Do I really deserve to be here?… Not yet.
[He said that they won’t deserve until they have served others, and they have largely thus far served themselves…]
“You had a lot of help, of course….Most of you came here from privileged places. It was hard to miss all of those late-model luxury cars lined up in front of the dorms this morning, disgorging your stuff. You’ve inherited financial and social capital that the average person can scarcely imagine….”
“Don’t mistake my talk of service for an appeal to your selfless nature. That need you feel to deserve what you haven’t earned? That is a craving that can’t be filled. That kind of desire will consume you in the end. You can choose otherwise.
So I say to you, on this brilliant day, in this lovely place, that while you do not deserve to be here, you could, someday. …[And] [w]hen you deserve it, come back to us. Share your service with your peers and your children. Then you’ll be part of our family. Then you’ll truly belong.
It’s a fitting tribute at a deeper level to the thanks that any of us who succeed owe to so many who have made that possible: our family’s efforts to nurture us materially, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually; the role of official or unofficial mentors or coaches along the way; the role of unofficial heroes to inspire us; the role of governmental policy in shaping and offering us opportunity or in enforcing rules that allowed us to succeed; the role of others in our neighborhoods and communities who trusted us or helped us or sustained us.
America is such an individualist-worshiping culture that we are sometimes misled to believe that we each succeeded or didn’t on our own, when this is so extremely rarely true when one digs deeper in the life stories of humans.
Posted in Chronicle of Higher Education, college, Kevin Carey, New America Foundation, opportunity, public service, service
Tagged Chronicle of Higher Education, college, Kevin Carey, New America Foundation, opportunity, public service, service
Jon Murad, a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Kennedy School, is going off to be a cop in New York City. His Graduate Student address is a wonderful call to serve.
“I’m probably not the only municipal cop in the country with 2 Harvard degrees, but I’m surely in a tiny cohort, but that’s not a boast but a lament. If there is something special about this place [Harvard] and the lessons that we learned here, and I believe there is, then America, the world needs people like you in these roles. Because John Adams was dead wrong, success doesn’t mean rising to the top, it means changing the world. And here’s the secret: everyone changes the world, everything ripples. It’s how we do it that counts.
So how do we do it? Do you choose a job that serves others, as many of you have already done? Do you sign up to be a Big Sister? Do you check out Citizen Schools? Do you volunteer for Hospice? Yes…These things are the tab for your coming here when others could not. These things matter. These things may be better than making tons of money, although as a civil servant I wouldn’t really know. ”
In addition, Oprah Winfrey, the main commencement speaker, was cogent on life’s meaning.
“You will find true success and happiness if you have only one goal. There really is only one, and that is this: to fulfill the highest, most truthful expression of yourself as a human being. You want to max out your humanity by using your energy to lift yourself up, your family, and the people around you.”
The key to doing that, she said, is to develop your “internal, moral, emotional GPS that can tell you which way to go.” Oprah talked about her work with the Angel Network to assist victims of Hurricanes and other adversity and implored the Harvard graduates, armed with the latest technology to be their own Angel Network.
Posted in citizen service, commencement, community service, graduation, harvard, Jon Murad, kennedy school, oprah, oprah winfrey, public service, service
Tagged citizen service, commencement, community service, graduation, harvard, Jon Murad, kennedy school, oprah, oprah winfrey, public service, service