All my life’s a circle Sunrise and sundown; Moon rolls thru the nighttime; Till the daybreak comes around.
The circle of life is everywhere we look. The sun, the moon and the clock, to name a few, are all perpetual daily reminders of the life cycle and how, like it or not, time marches on. As we all gather around the Thanksgiving table this week, it is a powerful nod to life, to those we love and to the abundance that we share as family, dear friends & Americans. It is also a reminder of the collective responsibility that we have to one another, particularly those less fortunate. Those that are broken and alone, those that are hungry.
All my life’s a circle; But I can’t tell you why; Season’s spinning round again; The years keep rollin’ by.
As I sit with my extended family on Thursday, I will reflect upon the changes, the growth, the triumphs and the challenges that this most recent circle brought to bear. I will revisit the graduation celebrations, the family time, the new friendships fostered and the loved ones lost. My thoughts will also invariably turn to the late, great Harry Chapin who was instrumental in stoking the fire of empathy within me many years ago. As I have mentioned in past entries, I grew up in Huntington, Long Island where Harry made his mark, and where his vision and legacy continue to endure and thrive to this day. As you may know, Harry was a well-documented giver; half of his concerts were fundraisers.
No straight lines make up my life; And all my roads have bends; There’s no clear-cut beginnings; And so far no dead-ends.
I often have conversations with clients about their passions and the causes that mean the most to them. As a planner and a guide on their respective journeys, I have often advised them of the benefits of using a donor advised fund for charitable giving. As a planner, the tax benefits derived from these accounts are very significant and, as a disciple of Harry Chapin, the impact is profound! Who on earth wouldn’t prefer to give more to a visceral, core belief and less to the IRS? As a comprehensive planner, it is my role and my goal to reinforce for my clients that life is not a straight line, but rather a journey that evolves over time. It is the evolution of the plan that makes my work rewarding and, as a passenger in my clients' lives, it is incredibly exciting to witness the impact that their giving has on those they love and those whose lives they are influencing from afar.
As I find you here again; A thought runs through my mind; Our love is like a circle; Let’s go ’round one more time.
Thanksgiving is upon us. The circle has led us back to where we were a year ago, only we are different, hopefully for the better. We have all been on a private journey, for some it was smooth sailing, for others, a bumpier ride. As we circle the table and enjoy one another’s company and companionship I hope you find the time to reflect upon your bounty and how you can make your impact. A living, breathing impact that we can celebrate around the table the next time this wonderfully American tradition of Thanksgiving comes around.
“Our lives are to be used and thus to be lived as fully as possible, and truly it seems that we are never so alive as when we concern ourselves with other people.” -- Harry Chapin
Written By: Rob Armstrong
Songwriters: Harry Chapin