A lesson from tax law and chocolate
When I was in law school, I took Corporate and Partnerships Tax. It surprised me by becoming a favorite class, in large part thanks to the professor.
Prof. Neeleman wielded a superhuman understanding of the tax code, the kind that you couldn’t stump with even the most obscure question. He’d respond not only with the answer, but would cite the Treasury Regulation section just as easily as you can say your phone number.
He was also incredibly kind.
Near the end of the semester, my study group went to Prof. Neeleman’s office to ask some questions we had for the final exam. He welcomed all six of us warmly. But before we could ask our first question, he took an ornate basket from a shelf and started to pass it around. Inside were some very expensive chocolates that he wanted to share. They were a gift from a student in thanks for some tax advice he’d give . (Based on the chocolates, it had clearly been valuable advice.)
As we all thanked him, he said it was nothing then made an off-hand comment, one that I doubt he even remembers saying. But it overflowed with so much wisdom that I have never forgotten it.
“You share what you love.”
This is a truth as universal to the human experience as you’ll ever find. Prof. Neeleman loved chocolate, so he shared it with us. But that same rule applies to whatever we love most.
Love baseball most? You delight in taking someone to a game. Love cooking most? It’s not the same if you’re the only one to eat it. The list goes on. If you love it, you share it.
And like most truth, it’s a damning one, too. Love yourself the most? Then you’re all you ever want to talk about.
The only things that come from the heart are the things that were there to begin with. It’s our job to make sure that whatever we put in our hearts is worth sharing.
What’s something you love that you can you share with someone else this week?
Seeing Good at Work
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GiveDirectly is one of the top charities in the world making direct cash transfers. They have given over $300 million to more than 600,000 people in the developing world. Moreover, they come recommended by top charity evaluators for their transparency, good governance, and impact.
I don’t have anything to ask of you this week. I hope you all enjoy a safe and lovely holiday season.