Meaningful Sacrifice

With Christmas only days away, I wish to share what I feel is a very warm sentiment in the spirit of giving.  Recently, I had the privilege to be audience to a magnificent presentation delivered by a true star of public speaking, Patricia Fripp (  At the conclusion of her presentation she shared a story about giving and sacrifice. With Ms. Fripp’s gracious permission I share this story with you.
To set the stage, Ms. Fripp is presumably discussing with a client what many would find rather interesting, corporate citizenship.  The task before them was to develop a way to talk about corporate citizenship in a manner that would truly engage the audience. In helping this gentleman, Ms. Fripp asks him to share how he might teach corporate citizenship to his children.  Below is my paraphrasing of an awe-inspiring response.

It was the day after Christmas and I sat my children down and explained to them how fortunate they were. “You have generous parents and even more generous grandparents.” I told them.  Perhaps you would like to take one of your gift certificates or presents and we will give them to the children who have lost their homes.
One of his sons asked,  “How much shall I give?  If I gave away all of my savings, pocket money and presents, it would not be enough to make a difference. So, how much should I give?”
To this the man said, “You never give it all. You just give enough that it hurts a little.”

As a speaking coach, the ostensible intent for Ms. Fripp sharing this story was to illustrate the power of a simple story brilliantly told.  My intent on the other hand, given the Christmas Season, is to share what I feel is a terrific lesson on making sacrifice feel meaningful.  Moreover, I might go so far as to suggest that such a practice be instilled in families this holiday season.  Moreover, I truly feel that such an exercise is just as applicable for adults as well as children.
If you are left asking what does this have to do with ‘corporate citizenship’, my declaration is that if children are taught the essence of giving, they will grow to become better citizens everywhere – in the community, the corporate environment, and the world.
I hope you enjoyed this story as much as I did.  I welcome you to learn more about Patricia Fripp at (I can only aspire to one day tell a story as eloquently as she does.)
As always, I welcome your thoughts, questions and any general feedback.
Thank you for reading.  Have a Great Day, A Joyous Christmas and Holiday and a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!
Matt G.

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