Eleemosynary. It’s one of my favorite words that almost no one knows the meaning of. It’s a word that will stump almost every spelling bee champion. It derives from the Greek “elos” meaning compassion and “eleemosyne” meaning alms. In contemporary terms eleemosynary means “relating to charity or charity donations.”
We’re approaching a new year, a time for new thoughts and new plans aborning. Yet I find myself looking back this week. And, as usual, I wish I’d been more efficacious at embodying the eleemosynary values I believe in and trumpet. The litany of little omissions and sins could lead me into a veritable orgy of self-recriminations. Ah, hypocrisy. However, as always, I try to post about practical concerns of entrepreneurship and salesmanship. And, I guess, thereby, write about everything else, too.
The truth is that an eleemosynary entrepreneur is ultimately more selfish than competitors driven only by desire for lucre or personal aggrandizement. Almost all religious faiths bespeak this basic verity, most notably Buddhism in its doctrine of Karma. Personally I am a kind of weak-kneed Christian. I attend church consistently to discipline the habit of focusing for an hour a week on what is of ultimate value. Hopefully this commitment has at least a faint echo in my business actions during the week. Gandhi famously said we must embody the change we wish to see in the world. Oh, dear. I seem to be falling short.
Nevertheless, my belief is that generous giving, both of the spirit and of finances, is ultimately the most selfish of actions. My deepest hope for my company Corporate Rain International is that it institutionally embody the selfishness of deep kindness, unsentimental compassion, and communicated grace for all it touches. Including myself.