Margaret May Damon combines financial planning experience, scholarship in women's history and psychology, and her own practical wisdom. She offers seminars, newsletters, articles, consultations, and an upcoming book, Virtuous Philanthropy: Boom-Generation Women's Destiny. Getting the values conversation and the money conversation to converge is often difficult, as if the two halves of the brain, or head and heart, did not quite align. Margaret May Damon's work shows an impressive command of both conversations, and their synergies. Is wisdom gendered female? Is virtue feminine? I am not sure about that, but Margaret sets a high standard for any planner who wants to engage clients or donors in making meaning through giving.
When we begin to talk without embarrassment about virtue, fate, destiny, providence, or moral obligation we are getting closer to the delusions or ideals, the wellsprings and vanities, that motivate the deepest responses of which we as humans are capable. To touch these chords is potentially to become a charismatic figure, a fraud, a shaman, a counselor, a healer, or a true leader. From what I have read of Margaret's work she sets a high standard.
For the sake of humility, whenever I get onto the subject of virtue, wealth, power, and destiny, whenever I begin to get too good at making the meaning-starved client dance to the famous old tunes, I reread Robert Frost's, "Provide Provide." Warning: Chilling if read appropriately; just might put donors off leaving any legacy whatsoever. Vanity once shattered, who knows how the money might fall. This wisdom game is a Fool's errand. And no one recently has played it better than Robert Frost, although he never raised much money, as far as I can tell.
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