I'm in Debt
With mortgage and credit card debt plaguing the American economy, as well as
challenges brought about by the pandemic, this statement is certainly not uncommon. But the following story can open our eyes to a different kind of debt.
Why would a distinguished professor give a lecture about his sabbatical travels in Europe announcing that the trip had placed him in debt? Did he plan to take up a collection?
Shortly into the address, his meaning became clear. Instead of talking about the sights
and expenses of his trip, he told of the kindnesses people had offered along the way – and his
sense of indebtedness.
When he was lost in Paris, a young man took time to personally lead him to his
destination. In a village, an elderly couple invited him to their home for dinner. He told about the patience and helpfulness of a store clerk, a waitress, a policeman and others. One kind deed after another.
He said he returned home with an overflowing sense of gratitude – and with a desire to
pay back his debt by expressing kindness to others, especially strangers.
The professor continued. He spoke of the journey of life and the debt we all owe to
parents and loved ones, to teachers and doctors and other professional, to friends and kindly
strangers, to organizations and institutions and other positive influences. “In fact,” he said, “we are all terribly in debt. Our only reasonable response is to invest in individuals and organizations that need our help.”
One of the reasons people give to the Community Foundation of White County is to
express gratitude and to “pay back” (or more accurately, to “pay it forward") for value they
received. Another reason is simply to express appreciation for benefits received elsewhere.
They give to the Community Foundation to say “thank you” for kindnesses that have come to
them along their journey of life. They know their gift to the Community Foundation is needed and appreciated.
Community Foundation Director Leslie Goss is ready to talk with you not only about
your reasons for making a gift, but about the various methods of giving. She is able to provide
tax-wise gift illustrations and other helpful information, including the variety of charitable
opportunities that exist within our community. A talk with your community foundation incurs no cost or obligation whatsoever and may be well worth your time.
For more information about your Community Foundation, call Director Leslie Goss at