I was raised up believing I was somehow unique
Like a snowflake distinct among snowflakes, unique in each way you can see
I can say with certainty that the defining trait of our humanity is our self-awareness; our recognition of self. And in my lifetime, I have been reminded of just how special that aspect of the human condition is. I vividly recall Saturday morning cartoons interwoven with “The Most Important Person In the Whole Wide World” shorts. We are all supremely unique but despite that fact we have a tendency to attach ourselves to something beyond ourselves, be it a vocation, a visceral gut belief, a love and devotion to something beyond our own four walls and broader than the scope of our own myopic vision. To ascribe oneself to a larger calling is to utilize our unique experiences and add them to a collective whole - to that of a greater good.
And now after some thinking, I’d say I’d rather be
A functioning cog in some great machinery serving something beyond me
If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it has taught us that life is precious and that time is a gift. It has brought many of us so much closer to those we love and afforded us quality time together that we would likely not have had under normal circumstances. It has also reminded each of us that life is unpredictable. The unpredictability of 2020 has created such suffering and such disparate outcomes for so many that the need to give has never been more palpable and consequential. It is for that reason that it is so necessary to think of the collective that have felt the burden of this pandemic and even more necessary to provide help to those who need it.
What’s my name, what’s my station? Oh, just tell me what I should do
I don’t need to be kind to the armies of night that would do such injustice to you
As we approach year-end and the prospects of material change to the current tax code, it is critically important to formalize your comprehensive financial plan, tax planning and, specifically, your charitable giving. If you are charitably inclined and have not already done so, you should explore establishing a donor advised fund. There are a variety of sponsors in the marketplace. For those that traditionally give cash to charity, you could benefit significantly from giving appreciated securities instead, thereby benefiting the causes that you hold dear and reducing your own tax bill. You could receive a deduction on the full amount of the contribution in the year it is made and have the ability to manage the donated funds until such time that the money is deployed to the 501(c)(3) recipients of your choosing. Factor in the benefits of clean record keeping and administration and the approach makes great sense on a variety of levels.
Or bow down and be grateful and say, “Sure, take all that you see”
To the men who move only in dimly-lit halls and determine my future for me
Many Americans live abundantly. Where possible, we need to collectively harness ourselves and direct that abundance to those in need and those causes that most deeply appeal to us. Those around us who have been ravaged by this virus and simply need a hand up, a bridge to a more bountiful tomorrow. There is no more time to sit and wait on Washington; government can only do so much. If you would like to make a difference, please reach out for a complimentary discussion on the subject. Together, we can do well by doing good and be efficient all at the same time.
Authored by Rob Armstrong
"Helplessness Blues" as written by Robin Noel Pecknold
Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.
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