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The Politics of Generosity: Reclaiming Our Nation’s Misspent Vocabulary

by | Jan 25, 2022

YPJ Note: After reading Cathy’s article in our local newspaper, we thought she asked some very interesting questions. As we have shared many times in the YP Journal, learning to ask questions can make us better givers. Be sure to let us know your thoughts about today’s guest blog. What questions do you have?

 

Lately, it seems we must screen nonprofits for hidden political agendas. The idea of giving to an agenda totally contrary to my personal convictions puts chills down my spine.

Maybe like our family, you like the idea of middle-class philanthropy with accountability naturally built into the process.

Since when did it become necessary to give according to our political views? When did political agendas start outranking pure generosity? How can folks give confidently, generously, with our community’s best interest in mind? Yep. I have lots of questions about giving.

 

Question #1 — Since when did it become necessary to give according to our political views?

People have always used money to influence politics. But we used to call that lobbying. The lingo has changed.

Now big tech folks, like the Zuckerberg and Bezos crowd, try to pass off their lobbying as philanthropy. They’ve just about redefined the word philanthropy to exclude the rest of us.

Seriously, who wants to live in a world where sharing the small excess your family accumulates in a year (or several years) is no longer considered generous or even necessary? Not me.

 

Question #2 — When did political agendas start outranking pure generosity?

If we want to reclaim generosity, we better start reclaiming the words politicians and media hacks use to divide us.

Did you know you can be liberal, conservative and moderate? Simultaneously. Without swaying in the political wind or lacking conviction.

Originally, the words, liberal and conservative and moderate, were not even rooted in politics. Of course, this is why it’s good to have old folks around. Because we remember stuff. Like solid definitions and common sense. And courtesy.

Together, Anna Krafve Pierce and I are reclaiming words like conservative, liberal and moderate on our show, Fireside Talk Radio.

“Anytime you take language out of a political arena or large bureaucratic arena and make it personal, then there’s more accountability,” explains Anna. “That’s a good thing. The word becomes more useful again, more nuanced.”

Why should political and media hucksters get all the good words, we say. So, Anna and I came up with some Camp Krafve definitions of liberal, conservative and moderate. You won’t find our definitions in any dictionary.

Solid definitions restore the usefulness of these words if healthy community building is your goal. Plus, they prepare your children and grandchildren to be community builders, too.

  • Liberal —Lifelong learning about the generosity of sharing oneself.
  • Conservative —Lifelong learning about how to steward resources wisely to have something wonderful to share.
  • Moderate —Lifelong learning to judiciously take into account others’ perspectives without compromising personal conviction.

Enough stereotyping each other to villainize and divide. Make no mistake, creating villains is all about control. Ratings, political savvy, sound bites, power-mongering. If we want to heal our culture, we better get back to using words with integrity.

Fortunately, solid definitions of words like liberal, conservative, moderate, generosity and philanthropy accurately tell more truth than anything you’ll see on the nightly news.

 

Question #3 — How can folks give confidently, generously, with our community’s best interest in mind?

Perhaps, like us, you always watch for accountability when you give. Hard-working folks know what I mean when I say generosity is about sacrifice. Generosity means making a choice to share something you could spend on your own family. Of course, we want to know the resources we share are really building a healthier community and world. Nothing codependent or politically crooked about it.

Let’s join together to resist the foolishness rampant in our culture.

Instead, let’s unite around the lifelong pursuit of learning to share oneself, steward resources wisely, and judiciously take into account others’ perspectives without compromising personal conviction. By doing so, we’ll build a stronger, more generous community for generations to come.

Like it. Use it. Share it. Comment below.

— Cathy Primer Krafve is host of Fireside Talk Radio and author of The Well: The Art of Drawing Out Authentic Conversations and Marriage Conversation: From Coexisting to Cherished. Your stories, ideas and questions are welcome at CathyKrafve.com. Truth with a Texas Twang spoken here.

3 Comments

  1. Norman Ferguson

    Wow Dawn!
    If I were still pastor of a church, you would be first on my list of guest speakers!!! What you are “Preaching”
    is what is sorely needed in our country today! norm

    Reply
    • Dawn Franks

      Thanks, Norman. I also loved Cathy’s message and was glad to share it with my followers.

      Reply
  2. Gail McGlothin

    So many words need to be reclaimed from politicos and the like. Thank you for identifying a few more!

    Reply

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