The Great Gatsby

green lightRecently I saw the new release of the movie The Great Gatsby, which is based on the novel written by my favorite literary author, F. Scott Fitzgerald. Many literary critics believe that Fitzgerald best captured the spirit of the roaring twenties and defining the hopes associated with the American Dream.

In the last line of the book, narrator Nick says: “Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter— tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther… and one fine morning… so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

Did you notice how Fitzgerald leaves Nick’s thoughts unfinished? Perhaps because his narrator knew that Gatsby would have remained ceaselessly engaged in being carried back to the past – so what was the use of looking forward and planning for the future?

The non-profits and charities that we support can’t survive in a world of Gatsbys – they need supporters who believe wholeheartedly in their cause to “run faster” and “stretch their arms farther” with volunteerism and charitable donations. These supporters live the true American Dream, they make America a better place. Knowing that it’s not beyond their reach to make a difference, they give of themselves and their money and are happy to do it.

Gatsby had a romantic idea of happiness that ceaselessly brought him back to the past. Research in psychology has examined how giving affects people’s emotional well-being and determined that helping others leads to positive emotions such as warmth and happiness. If only Gatsby had known that the elusive Daisy (represented by the green light) would never have brought him the happiness that helping others could have. If only Gatsby had spent less time with a room full of interesting people, and more time with the Stewardship Foundation.

Admittedly, we too at the Stewardship Foundation have romantic ideas. We want to help make the world a better place by supporting transformational giving based on a set of moral values set out in the Manhattan Declaration. But unlike Gatsby, we stretch out our arms everyday and run harder to help our clients discover true happiness that comes from helping causes that are aligned with a moral compass.

If you have non-cash assets like property or valuables and would like to learn how you can use those assets to do good in your lifetime, please contact us. No beating against the current here – just moving forward to what defines us as Americans. Call us at (614) 800-7985.

Why the Manhattan Declaration…

Although the Stewardship Foundation has been in existence since 1990, (You can read about our history: www.stewardshipworks.org), Joe Finneran and I decided to shift the foundation’s focus because we were inspired by the Manhattan Declaration. read the Manhattan Declaration This declaration is a statement of belief of course, but is also a challenge issued by Roman Catholic and Protestant pastors to embrace what we share; oppose what we know that violates our Judeo-Christian heritage; and put at God’s disposal what He has given to his people.

Too often people focus on what divides us and too often people embrace relativism and inaction.  Consequently ministries are dying on the vine because they are not replenished with the necessary resources even though those resources are available through existing and future donations.

The SF is an ecumenical, Christian-based foundation that works with all faiths that promote respect for human life from conception to natural death, honor traditional families that encourage the full development of men, women, and children who are created in God’s image; and that safe guard religious freedom as a means to embrace our Creator God, our Savior Jesus Christ, and the wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit as we understand them.

Jesus said “For whoever is not against us is for us.” (Mark 9:40) We believe the Manhattan Declaration enables us to see that there are more people for us and our cause than are against us.  We at the Stewardship Foundation seek to be inclusive and unite those who are not against us.  Our challenge is to build on that which we share and encourage those who share our mission to financially support those ministries in the trenches furthering the kingdom of God here on earth.