Michael Moody is now the Frey Chair in Family Philanthropy at the Johnson Center at GVSU in Michigan. For anyone interested in the intersection of the moral, civic, and strategic dimensions of family philanthropy Michael's is a body of work to follow. He now has a blog, with deeply considered posts. http://givingbackblog.johnsoncenter.org
Michael (Dr. Moody) works in the spirit of Robert Payton, with whom he edited a book on philanthropy. I got to know Michael when he worked at the Philanthropic Initiative. "The moral dimension of philanthropy" was our shared interest, following the lead of H. Peter Karoff. This is lonely work in a secular, market driven society. Peter handles it with eloquence veering into poetry. Michael with understated erudtion in the liberal arts. I imitate madmen convincingly for a paycheck, unsuccessfully as a satirist, to delight and instruct my fellow citizens until my limbs are laid in earth. And my recompense is that the Dynastic Families and those serve them call me a bum. Same to you, Buddy! If I had a dime that would save your life, I'd buy a stick of gum instead. Your whole family could drop dead and it would be of no concern to me. Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations - You think my heart bleeds for you and your family? Try rags from generation to generation since time immemorial. You think you are better'n me? You think rags like mine would dishonor your name? You went to Harvard? You think that proves anything? Get your hands off me. Tell your goons to back off. I will go quietly and beg on some other corner. Sorry, did I spit up blood on your blue blazer? Forgive me. Here let me rub snow on it.
The immoral dimension of philanthropy is a pretty good topic too. (See Michael's, Types of Philanthropic Harm.)
The Author Function, the divine inspiration for this blog, would like to thank Diderot as the primary source for the persona in the latter half of this post, beginning with the phrase, "And my recompense is," up to "The moral dimension of...." The persona before and after that inset mad scene is entirely authentic and sincere: The real me. A polite dupe, a well meaning stooge. Much like the authentic you, Gentle Reader, in real life, perhaps. The world depends on our staying in role. Knaves, lords, dupes, rogues, fine ladies, doxies, or fools, if we all were to laugh together even once, the whole sorry spectacle would disintegrate. We are all but common clay. Ashes to ashes. Reading Michael is a relief.