Have you seen this story? Someone left the Henry Street Settlement a multimillion dollar donation, in fact the biggest individual donation thus far in New York history! This someone wasn’t some well-known, billionaire philanthropist.
In fact, it was a 96-year-old Brooklyn woman, who worked as a secretary for most of her life and managed to quietly amass a fortune! She then chose to leave most of it to charity in her will.
Sylvia Bloom, from the story above is definitely one of a kind! However, you have to wonder what drives someone to invest wisely, live frugally, save effectively and then donate so generously at the end of their life.
That driving factor or motivation can be termed as our purpose or us trying to find meaning in our existence. Ultimately, we want our life to add up to more than just the sum of a series of daily activities.
We want to explore the meaning of ‘purpose’ in people’s lives. What could give your life meaning? Of course, the answer is different for every individual!
When we truly reflect on purpose, we may feel disoriented that we’re not quite sure where life is headed. What are we really meant to be doing with our life?
Everyone is motivated by differently. For some it’s career and ambition, for others it’s seeking knowledge and improving themselves every day. Yet others are driven by altruism and philanthropy or being at the peak of health or physical perfection. Of course, there are also those who want to leave behind a legacy!
Purpose is also a dynamic, ever-evolving notion. Take Bill Gates for example, for years his purpose was to build a business and define an industry through innovation. He has been at the pinnacle wealth for a few years, and now Bill & Melinda Gates spend their time supporting their successful foundation. Their purpose is now focused on solving world-scale problems including agricultural development, gender equality, K-12 US education and the eradication of infectious and vicious disease cycles. Uniquely, they chose to give while they are alive and their Foundation unwinds 20 years after their passing.
There are several business models today that are both profitable and philanthropic that make giving as natural as buying. Take the example of a company called Aspiration. They donate 10% of all their earnings to causes that they believe in.
Additionally, there are activist investors who obtain stake in companies where they believe good can be done, or corporate greed can be curtailed. Activist investments have recently been on the rise and they aim to keep companies from violating SEC regulations and antitrust laws.
WE believe in virtuous cycle of Passionate Living, Profitable Saving and Purposeful Giving. Our belief is that we all can uplift each other’s potential by integrating this virtuous cycle into our daily lives and the actions we take.
WE exist at the centre of this virtuous cycle which can be examined from three perspectives
- Purposeful Giving: The macro view as it relates to society. Communities, corporations and causes interact with each other, at this level.
- Profitable Saving: The micro perspective of corporations (and nonprofits) where data plays an increasingly important role.
- Passionate Living: The nano perspective of the individual whose purpose is dynamic and brushes across all three sectors- living, giving and saving.
Whatever your purpose(s) may be, it is connected to a layer that ultimately builds towards uplifting humanity’s potential. Whether it is supporting causes, working at an organization that puts principles first, saving and conserving to support future generations or even living passionately enough to make the most of available resources.
We hope you enjoyed exploring the meaning of ‘purpose’ with us!