Yesterday was my annual shopping pilgrimage with my best friend from B School Frank. Frank is a former engineer whose tolerance for shopping is about on the same level as mine: between mythical and non-existent. So we started doing this right after grad school as a way to share the pain, and a few drinks, while taking time out of our incredibly busy schedules.
As day turned to night the event would deteriorate and the gifts would get more, shall we say, “interesting”. There is a reason we use the phrase “But everyone loves monkeys!”
The past few years have been different though: not because we are any more responsible (even though we did bring a voice of reason with us this year), but because our focus has changed: 90% of our shopping time is now shopping for underprivileged kids.
I will not buy the latest greatest video game for a kid that asks, nor am I buying the newest trend. But there is something absolutely heartrending about a kid asking for a coat or boots, especially in the Upstate New York winter. And I will always try to help them out, no matter how tough things might be with my business, because their need is so great.
My parents gave me many things, but the most important is a moral responsibility to those less fortunate. And I have friends around me that share the same values, so now we can invest our time with people we love to be around helping those who need it. Does life get much better?