By Besty Brill and Ken Nopar in STEP Journal, directed to estate planning professionals. Little by little tax and legal professionals are coming to see that the wealthy very often want to have impact beyond self and family. How to have a conversation about aspiration and impact? Not easy for those whose training is limited to facts and figures. The skills needed are those of Socratic dialogue and thematic listening. Those who have such skills are generally found in public relations, advertising, proof reading, teaching, social work, fundrasing, or walking the streets looking for a job. We have, as a culture, subordinated wisdom to profit and now our best hope is to teach "discernment" to tax, legal, and financial professionals. The strategic part of philanthropy can be taught by MBAs, and often is. The wisdom part? We are still treating giving as a consumer preference or proclivity. Questions like, "What does the community need? To whom are you responsible? What must we do to be saved? If not now when?" are syptomatic of a mind gone mad. I know it and accept it. The Wealth Bondage Private Duty Nurse has explained it to me in the process of getting my informed consent. I am lucky that lobotomy is covered, after the $1,000 deductible, by The Wealth Bondage Employee Health Plan. Under Obama Care it may not even need a doctor's permission. Employees will be authorized to provide the service themselves to qualified employees in their annual performance review. Only then can we rise ourselves and become philanthropists in our own right.
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