Tag Archives: philanthropy

Three Life Changing Things (aka things that make you go “hmmm”) – Number two

Scavenging on rubbish tip

You know what he needs right now? That’s right, a bloody good steak and a glass of red wine.

A regular business lunch

In my last post I described the most recent of my three seemingly unrelated life-changing events: moving house. Well, this is the second instalment – the impact on my life of a regular “networking” lunch.

A few years ago I was helping a software development house with their go-to-market strategy – they had developed and successfully patented some really cool artificial intelligence technology. A friend suggested I come along to a small networking lunch of (mainly) businessmen to spruik about the opportunity. So off we went to the wonderful Stefan’s Charcoal Grill in Balwyn (http://stefanscharcoalgrill.yolasite.com).

As is often the case at these type of events, the newbies (that was me) are introduced and then you get to say a few things about what you do. I waxed lyrical about artificial intelligence, spread of activation cognitive theories and codeless programming.  Polite smiles greeted my efforts. No one understood a word … but no one really seemed to mind, overmuch.

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What’s the point? I mean, REALLY – what’s the point?

Sooner or later in life, and often several times, most of us will mutter the words: “What’s the point?”

Initially it’s “what’s the point of doing such and such?” But later in life, it often becomes “what is THE point?”

What drives you to ask the question is as varied as the answer you give. For me, it kinda snuck up on me – no big-bang, crisis-style crying-out-loud “WHAT’S THE BLOODY POINT?”, but rather a growing realisation that I was somehow missing the point. Whatever it was.

OK, I’ve always done my little bit to help others. We all do. Nothing huge: a raffle ticket here, a donation there, even a charity ball now and again. (Which is always a tad embarrassing with my two left feet on the dance floor!)

Time to give

Sometimes, it’s just time.

Like most, I’ve done enough to maintain my perception of myself as not a bad bloke, and I’m pretty sure that most others would agree, and those who don’t … well, we needn’t go there.

I always said that in a few years time I’d start really giving back. But, like losing a few pounds around the waistline or cleaning up the study, I’ve never really got around to it. “I’m sure I’ll get around to it one day” I would say to myself  – just need to pay off the mortgage; get the kids through school; buy a yacht, and save for that apparently endless European driving holiday, belting around the Alps in a Ferrari. (I’m still going to do that one, but it’s another story.)

But, over the past several years, a few things have changed. I met my wife, I started attending a regular business lunch, and I moved house.

These three seemingly unrelated life-changing events, which I’ll share with you in more detail in future blogs, led to me forming friendships with some of the most inspirational people I have ever met, and some of the most vulnerable, too.

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Filed under Business, Philanthropy