While recently attending a fundraiser for a local school, I was introduced to a very wealthy gentleman I’ll call Harry. The head fundraiser for the school told that he is the number one contributor to the school’s construction fund. Plus Harry is a top ten poultry producer in America. His success is often documented in a variety of poultry trade journals. In the past he has served as president of several key trade associations.
With all the success why then does Harry drive a 10 year old Chevrolet sedan? Live in a home valued in the high $300,000 range? Wear a navy blue suit that shines from a long history of dry cleaning and commercial pressing? Do you get the picture? Successful people, Harry included, have a need to communicate or display their success. Some do it with expensive homes, prestige makes of motor vehicles, designer clothes, etc. But Harry does it differently. He displays his socioeconomic achievements by donating to noble causes such as the building fund and a variety of scholarship funds for colleges and universities in his area. He is also a major contributor to his church’s endowment fund. For Harry it is more important for him to be on the “who’s who in poultry” list that is published each year than to drive an expensive motor vehicle.
Harry has what some people refer to as traditional American values including hard work, thrift and sharing. And, as the fundraiser told me, “if you go to Harry’s house for dinner, it’s fried chicken and $10 wine and beer!”