Tag Archives: giving


It’s a topic that I’ve kept off of this blog, but this post has been under my skin all week.  Perhaps I’ve avoided it here by choice, or out of respect for the theme, but if the purpose of the space is to offer the opportunity to examine my life- then it’s only fair to admit that the topic has been on my mind lately.

I won’t pretend to have a good handle on love, in fact, my brother probably puts it best – “romantic relationships seem to have a particularly strong negative effect on your normally sound judgement and careful decision making.”  He’s right, romance tends to bend me out of shape worse than any alpine sufferfest.  Maybe that’s why I’ve found myself rolling solo much more than a duo- but this is not really about romance, it’s about love.

Love is what you share when you are more excited about what you have to give someone than what you might receive from them.  Love is what you accept when being around someone compels you to be the very best version of yourself and no one else.

Thank you to those of you who have recently asked me to be more discerning about what this word really means.

“Love is not sincere until every vestige of feeling that somebody owes us something is surrendered.” (Michael Booth)


Last year, a group of people raised a bunch of money for me to benefit from. I didn’t ask them to, or know that I would benefit from their work when they raised the money. They took action because they believed that what they were doing was worthwhile, and that one day I would want to thank them. They were right.

I’ve been attending weekend-long seminars called the New Leaders Council (NLC) since January. I’ve written about these seminars before (here, and here), and this past weekend was again spent inside rather than out, and once again, it was worth it. I came to Missoula with big talk about “community” and “local action,” yet my action was small. Talk << Action.

NLC has been about getting connected, and connecting is the first essential piece of acting in the community. I’ve met local leaders, built business and personal relationships, and gotten to know this community on a level that in some ways is much deeper than my involvement with “community” in Portland. Attending the seminars has made me more aware of social justice issues that haven’t been on my radar, and put me in touch with a compassionate, engaged, and intellectually stimulating people that I probably wouldn’t normally get to know via the adventure circles I usually travel in. I leave each conference feeling more alive, and more aware of what needs doing, and I’ve found that invaluable.

NLC is free if you are selected to participate, and that comes with the responsibility of raising money for next years conferences. It costs ~$500 per person to put on in Missoula. We’re having a fundraising event in Missoula this weekend and it should be a very good time- please stop by the Stensrud Building (314 N. 1st St.) between 6-8pm for live music and refreshments. If you can join me in making a donation so that someone next year has this opportunity, that would be rad (click here and select “Missoula Chapter”). If you can’t (and I understand that you can’t), I’ll ask you to consider what you might do to make yourself more alive and connected to your community.

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” (Howard Thurman)