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Why do people give?

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By Lowell Sheppard

This month, I am pleased to feature a conversation with Mr Harry Hill, president of Oak Lawn Marketing, a leading direct marketing company in Japan. Oak Lawn Marketing is considered an innovator in their field. Mr Hill is also active in his family and community. His five children are all involved in sports programs at the highest level. Mr Hill is also a governor of the ACCJ and chairman of HOPE International Development Agency, Japan.


What do you remember about the first time you ever gave something away?

A: There are two memories that come to mind. One is when I was six, just after my younger sister had died, my mother sponsored a child from the Philippines. We sent her something like $5-10 everything month for several years and exchanged letters. I also remember my father had a knack with homeless people. My father was a professor and loved to talk with people and learn their stories. So whenever a homeless person would ask for money, he would engage them in conversation. Sometimes he would get engaged in long conversations and we would end up going out for coffee and donuts. Although my family didn’t really have a lot to be able to give, when we gave we were always interested and engaged in the story of the recipient.

Read more in Insight.

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9 Comments
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Awe.....what a nice story. The truth people don't give to help others as much as they do to feel better about themselves. I would never give to a homeless person. Mainly because I can't get a receipt and deduct it from taxes later. I give because I can benefit from it. I give because it makes me feel better about my sin of having a Starbucks coffee 4 times a week. I truly feel like there is nothing wrong with my giving for my own personal gain. Everyone else is doing the same, most just are not honest about it. So yes, nice story but having coffee with a homeless person sounds like a little bit of hell on my sense of smell. I can do without that.

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I met Harry once at an ACCJ event. I was first struck by how successful he was. But as he talked his character left a lasting impression on me. There was a humility about him that conveyed, "I don't know everything." Hearing this story from his childhood I can see where he got it from. Those willing to look at, and interact with, all shades of humanity are most likely to have the broadest perspective on life. And from this comes character. "Giving" is an opportunity to connect with others. And through this connection we are shaped and molded.

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Nice article here about giving. When we listen to people ,of all walks of life we learn. If you have something to give,then just give.

It may be money or some thing of value, to be given to a receiving person in need. Giving USD 10 a month to a poor child,helps build confidence for better humanity.

Building confidence in people,goes far to make humanity better.

It may also just be ,lending your ear,to the problems and giving some wise words to help.

However big or small your deeds or help, it helps make humanity better .

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Harry you are one of a kind for being Roberts operations manager. My hat is off to you.

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They give because they have a good heart, they wanted to make others feel they are important.

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People give because their conscious has risen to a certain point where they are not all about themselves any more.Good article and would like to see more like this

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What a great article. While I sit in front of my computer thinking of the last time I gave, my mind goes blank. Pretty sad. But I do remember when someone 'gave' me something when I was still a young'un. It was a day that changed my life. Being a stupid teenager and getting into all kinds of trouble, one day I found it in my heart to open a door for a handicapped school mate. He thanked me, but said he was capable of opening the door himself. We talked for a lttle while and I asked him what it feels like being hadicapped. He looked straight into my eyes and said, "I'm not handicapped, you are. You were born with too many limbs. I can do anything that you people can do, some things even better, just the way I am." He probably didn't know it, but he gave me one of my best lessons in life that day.

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People give because they expect to gain something from it. Note that I do not limit what the "something" has to be, whether it be payment, favours, thanks, notoriety or whatever.

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Faith begins with self interest. Nothing wrong with that.

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