It’s not often that I get weepy over the death of a politician. But I couldn’t help tearing up when I heard New Year’s Day that former Senator Claiborne Pell had died. While he served Rhode Island for six terms in the Senate, he truly was a Senator for all of us, a man who believed in public service as a noble calling, and had faith in the power of civility and diplomacy. He worked tirelessly for international peace, human rights, education, the arts and scholarship, the environment and historic preservation.
He was quirky, the way we like our politicians in RI. Known for his frayed cuffs and collars, his summer seersucker suits, he was a patrician beloved by the working class, interested both in science and UFOs and ESP. He defined his Senate job as “translate ideas into action and help people.” Read more
We believe that ordinary human beings can create a world of opportunity, liberty, civil & human rights, human dignity, shared abundance, beauty, healthy natural resources and healthy, compassionate people together in a world of peace and prosperity.
That’s why we do the work that we do. Because we see nonprofits as essential to bringing that hope to pass.
So, on this momentous day, we thought we’d share a few words in the same spirit from our President to be and wish him great luck and all of our assistance on this journey:
“So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other. Let us remember that if this financial crisis taught us anything, it?s that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers ? in this country, we rise or fall as one nation; as one people…”
“America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves ? if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?
“…This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time ? to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth ? that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we can?t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people:
“Yes We Can.”?Excerpts from victory speech of President-elect, Barack Obama
For everyone who has sat through a retreat, and because today was the day of her birth, a quote from Emily Post
“Ideal conversation must be an exchange of thought, and not, as many of those who worry most about their shortcomings believe, an eloquent exhibition of wit or oratory.”
Today’s quote goes to the unnamed person who coined the phrase “too big to fail” (what it really means “too big to [let] fail.”
Anyway, I just wanted to suggest that we pause and reexamine the bias toward those giant nonprofit “economic engines” in the Boston Foundation’s study of the financial health of Massachusett’s nonprofit sector, Passion and Purpose.
And, the precarious nature of the stock market underscores my previous point that there are no inherently sustainable dollars. Even endowment income is subject to the rise and fall of the market… and right now, it’s a pretty big fall.