The ambassador of Giving


I realised today what a GREAT word that is.

And it’s made me make some significant changes already.

I was watching the UK’s First (actually the world’s first) Ambassador for Giving, Dame Stephanie Shirley, addressing the Leadership Summit on Global Philanthropy in New York.

Right at the outset of her 40 minute speech, Dame Stephanie makes it clear what she’s about: ‘I’ll be urging you to join together with us to unleash philanthropy.’

The moment she said it, the simple power of those 7 letters hit me — unleash! It implies there’s something ‘bottled up’ or held in, just waiting not just to get out but to almost explode out.

Here was the immediate impact on me. I paused the video and re-wrote my own ‘why am I here’ statement. It used to be: ‘I get up in the morning to give businesses the power to change our lives.’ It immediately became: ‘I unleash the power of giving in businesses and in lives around the world.

And it just makes so much sense. Because I’m certain that in each of us there is this ‘bottled up thing’ going on that we hang on to. When we unleash it, it doesn’t dribble out, it flows with force.

“Giving,” says Dame Stephanie,“ is the defining characteristic of the human race.” And, as she puts it so well, “the more I give away, the richer my life seems to become.”

Now that has got to be worth unleashing, don’t you think?