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
Malcolm Gladwell’s next book will be David and Goliath (2013, Little Brown).
I haven’t read the book yet, but he wrote a related article in the New Yorker entitled “How David Beats Goliath” detailing that Davids (underdogs) win a surprising 1/3 of the time against much stronger Goliaths. The article highlighted a poorly-trained California girls’ basketball team who reached the state finals through unconventional defense like the press. [The article generated some controversy with Gladwell responding to some concerns about Rick Pitino.] Gladwell might have, but didn’t discuss Grinnell Basketball’s innovative strategy to take on better teams of running all out, “run and gun” and substituting in new players every 5 minutes so the team was always fresh.
In an interview with New Yorker’s, Nicholas Thompson in Canada in October 2012, he noted that “Traits that we consider to be disadvantages aren’t disadvantages at all. … As a society, we depend on damaged people far more than we realize. … They’re capable of things the rest of us can’t do [because] they look at things in different ways.”
One key factor in underdog’s success (in business or in life) is employing disruptive strategies that exploit their stronger opponent’s weaknesses. They often move quickly, lay low, channel the opponent’s energy against him or herself, or figure out dimensions along which their Goliath opponent will be slow to change. [Looks like it might help reprise some of the theories of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War.]
He focuses on events like Americans and Soviets losing to Afghanistan. the Americans losing to the Viet Cong, or Steve Jobs vaulting out of nowhere and overtaking wealthy Xerox. Or Cezanne, who originally was a “failed painter” but comes from behind. His book relates a bit to Randy Pausch’s advice that barriers are not put up to keep people from their goals but to separate out those who really want something from those who don’t. [He might also have added to his list the success of the American minutemen in defeating the much better trained and funded British troops through a combination of knowing the terrain, early guerrilla warfare [hiding behind trees and rocks], wearing camouflage rather than bright red uniforms, etc.]
His mantra is embodied in the bible:
The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all. [Ecclesiastes 9:11]
He believes that Americans shouldn’t focus on getting into the best colleges. [More on that when books comes out, although maybe he’s generalizing from his rise to stardom from a degree from University of Toronto’s Trinity College…]
I haven’t read the book yet, but his book flies in the face of our research that suggests that over the last several decades, there is far less equality of opportunity in America than earlier. These low-income “underdogs” seem to be far less likely to break out of the low-education of the families they are born into than Gladwell’s optimistic statistics seem to assert. Look forward to reading the book…
Here’s an interview of Gladwell with CBC’s Terry MacLeod.
Click here for interview with New Yorker’s Nicholas Thompson on Underdogs.
For more on Outliers, his last book, click here.
Posted in Afghanistan, basketball, British, CBC, Cezanne, David and Goliath, David Arseneault, Ecclesiastes, Goliath, Grinnell College, malcolm gladwell, minutemen, new yorker, Nicholas Thompson, outliers, pausch, randy pausch, Rick Pitino, Soviets, Steve Jobs, Terry MacLeod, Trinity College, underdogs, Viet Cong
Tagged Afghanistan, British, CBC, Cezanne, David and Goliath, Ecclesiastes, Goliath, malcolm gladwell, minutemen, new yorker, Nicholas Thompson, outliers, pausch, randy pausch, Soviets, Steve Jobs, Terry MacLeod, underdogs, Viet Cong