12.10.2008

A GOOD MAN WHO KEEPS ON GIVING

Some nice positive press in today's Inquirer for an old hero of mine, Harold Taussig: "Reaching Out to Those in Need." I first met Hal in the late 90's, when he got involved financially and personally in our work at The Enterprise Center. I was immediately smitten. Here was a man well into his 70's (he's now 84) who was yet still being an entrepreneur even as he was taking care of his beloved wife. He was way ahead of the curve on eco-tourism (his business is called Idyll Untours) and on giving back (most if not all of his profits went into a foundation that made loans in organizations like The Enterprise Center, and his own energy and attention went with those loans). Where he was most prescient was in his environmental concerns: he rides his bike everywhere, lives in a simple home, and always prints on the back side of scratch paper.

Not surprisingly, though he was almost 50 years my senior, I felt a real kinship with this man, even as I grew to admire him and emulate him. Whenever I had the chance, I met up with him, or had him speak to the teens in my entrepreneurship program. He always cheerfully obliged, and he always delivered.

At the end of the Inquirer story, Hal is quoted as saying, "If you want to find Jesus, don't look in the manger. Go where the poor are. Jesus said, 'When you give to the poor, you give to me.'" Congratulations, Hal, on a great article and, more importantly, a great life. That you keep on doing what you're doing is an inspiration to me and others who seek to act as you have acted, motivated by the same values you hold dear.
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