Recently 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.