When I first was approached regarding getting involved with the St. Louis Giving Pledge, I thought it was a terrific idea. Not so much because of because of the organization’s pledge structure- if anything, I’ve always been more of a guy who tries to “give as I go” and make a difference in the now, versus one who primarily views charity in terms of something my estate will address after I’m gone. Truth be told, part of my initial hesitancy regarding this proposal was (and is) a degree of worry I won’t have enough of an estate when I pass to fulfill such a meaningful commitment!
But at its heart, I like the fact the St. Louis Giving Pledge is one way for all of us to adopt a more charitable mindset in the present, rather than have some sort of late stage “death bed conversion” to good deeds. For my part, I owe any charitable bent I have to my late parents who, as they raised 10 children, displayed a level of selflessness I’ll never be able to hold a candle to. My father was fond of saying, “You can’t outdo God in generosity!” and, even in a world with so many troubles, I’ve found that to be true—indeed, at key moments in my life when I’ve done something like write a check that’s almost made me wince, soon after I’ve often experienced something inexplicably good or reaffirming. And while I don’t really think that God works that way, I’ve always laughed to myself that if luck is some sort of divine quid pro quo, I’m not going to be the one to break the chain! In any case, I am honored to have been included among such esteemed like-minded St. Louisans and am happy to lend my support to this initiative.