My Soapbox: Life is an echo


When you carry out acts of kindness you get a wonderful feeling inside. It is as though something inside your body responds and says, yes, this is how I ought to feel.
Harold Kushner

Life is an echo.

Christmas is often the best time to see the true character of people. You see the good and the bad. You see those who find great joy in giving to family, to friends, and to those in need. You see those that seem to take joy mostly in receiving from family and friends. You see those that love unconditionally and show that love through physical and verbal manifestations of caring. And you see those that truly don’t seem to have an ounce of caring inside. Yes, the negative of Christmas is that sometimes it brings out the very worst in people or at least makes the bad that’s already inside much clearer. It highlights the negative like the bright lights on Michigan Ave in Chicago highlight the stores or the shiny garland and ornaments highlight Christmas trees.

Today, my soapbox message is a simple one and it is a message that has been delivered through centuries and ages. From spiritual leaders and deities, to actors, comedians, and politicians; and everyone in between. It is this: Doing good feels good. Loving feels good. Giving feels good. Supporting feels good. Commiserating feels good. Forgiving feels good. And, even better, in addition to feeling good you have the additional benefit that people return all of the above right back to you. Yes, absolutely true and proven time and time again is the Golden Rule that one does unto others as he or she wants done unto him; Do good. Feel good. Receive good.


This is the time to forgive. This is the time to perform a random act of kindness. This is the time to love. This is the time to understand and ask questions. To listen. It is not the time to hold grudges or seek revenge. It is not the time to be angry or jealous. It is not the time to fight over material things or hurt feelings.
I’m posting on #karma today on my facebook page, LinkedIn, Instagram, and twitter. If you follow me on all, you will see several thought provoking images. Confucius, Jesus Christ, Buddha and several other great thinkers and spiritual leaders all seemed to believe that what goes around comes around and it is better to do good thing to do ill.

Thanks for reading another soapbox rant. Smile. What are your thoughts on karma or The Golden Rule? Have you experienced personally or through someone else the results of bad Karma? Seen someone blessed beyond imagining after doing good and giving sacrificially? Share below please. I would love to hear what you think.

Be Well. Lead On.


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Holiday Giving Update (Final)

Let’s Change Lives together!!!

Holiday Adam

Thanks to those who have posted information the past two months. I learned so much about several new organizations and I hope have introduced them to others as well.  I chose 12 organizations to highlight throughout the 12 Days of Christmas and another 3 special year-end organizations. Each of these organizations are doing their part to make the world a better place for youth, the homeless, the impoverished, and more.

I encourage everyone reading this blog to consider giving of your time or financial resources to one of these groups. Give at least $100 today, or do whatever you can. Let’s change lives together! Happy New Year!

Highlighting the following organizations:

My New Red Shoes (Charity of the Day Dec 13)

The mission of My New Red Shoes is to help homeless and low-income children look and feel confident as they start the school year by providing them with new clothing and shoes and by rallying youth and adults around this effort through volunteer and educational opportunities for individuals, families, schools, corporations, and community groups.

Cabrini Green Legal Aid (Charity of the Day Dec 14)

CGLA seeks to transform lives by providing zealous legal advocacy enhanced by social work support. By integrating legal and social services, we both improve our clients’ legal outcomes and extend our impact beyond crisis support.

A Wider Circle (Charity of the Day Dec 15)

The mission of A Wider Circle™ is simple: to help children and adults lift themselves out of poverty. Each day, A Wider Circle provides basic need items to families transitioning out of shelters or simply living without life’s necessities.

Communities In Schools (Charity of the Day Dec 16)

Communities In Schools works within the public school system, determining student needs and establishing relationships with local businesses, social service agencies, health care providers, and parent and volunteer organizations to provide needed resources.

Access Living (Charity of the Day Dec 17)

Established in 1980, Access Living is a change agent committed to fostering an inclusive society that enables Chicagoans with disabilities to live fully-engaged and self-directed lives. Nationally recognized as a leading force in the disability advocacy community, Access Living challenges stereotypes, protects civil rights and champions social reform.

National Autism Association (Charity of the Day Dec 18)

The mission of the National Autism Association is to respond to the most urgent needs of the autism community, providing real help and hope so that all affected can reach their full potential.

Covenant House (Charity of the Day Dec 19)

Founded in 1972, Covenant House is the largest privately funded agency in the Americas helping homeless kids, providing crisis care and ongoing support at 21 facilities.

Chicago State University (Charity of the Day Dec 20)

From its humble origins, Chicago State University has evolved into an outstanding, nationally acclaimed university that provides a value-added education for all who enter its hallowed halls. Consistently evolving to reflect state-of-the-art trends in higher education, Chicago State University prepares students for success in the twenty-first century.

Teen Living Programs (Charity of the Day Dec 21)

Teen Living Programs delivers comprehensive, long-term solutions to youth without homes who strive for self-sufficiency and community connection. TLP offers housing, job training, educational support, mental health counseling, holistic health care, and life skills training within a community of professional and passionate support.

Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education (Charity of the Day Dec 22)

CAPE is both an educational organization and an arts organization, making it unique among both. CAPE serves education by providing an integrated arts education program that blends innovation, consistency and research into teachable programs that really work. As an arts organization, CAPE encourages the professional development of teaching artists in the visual arts, dance, music and theater.

Literacy Works (Charity of the Day Dec 23)

Literacy Works’ mission is to fulfill the promise of a basic human right: to read, write, and interpret the world. To accomplish its mission, Literacy Works promotes adult literacy and family literacy in Chicago through training to volunteer tutors, unique workshops for adult literacy students, and an array of services that strengthen community-based adult and family literacy programs.

TPAN | Test Positive Aware Network (Charity of the Day Dec 24)

TPAN empowers people living with HIV through peer-led programming, support services, information dissemination, and advocacy. We also provide services to the broader community to increase HIV knowledge and sensitivity, and to reduce the risk of infection.

“Bonus” New Years Organizations”

The following organizations were the last recipients of my personal giving this season and merit additional consideration for giving from YOU.

OneVillage promotes global development through individual community empowerment in underdeveloped countries around the world.
The Lupus Foundation of America, Inc is the foremost national nonprofit voluntary health organization dedicated to finding the causes of and cure for lupus and providing support, services and hope to all people affected by lupus.
Cornerstone Counseling Center of Chicago is a faith-based non-profit that provides counseling and personal development services to people from all walks of life.

I wish each of you a blessed holiday season and a fantastic New Year of Changing Lives Together!

Be well! Lead On.


Holiday Adam

Adam L. Stanley
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“We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.”

— Winston Churchill
Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays … Let’s Change Lives

Want to REALLY give a gift that shows the meaning of the season? Let’s Change Lives together!!!

Happy Holidays

Please consider checking out the organizations that have posted on my blog. Each of them are doing their part to make the world a better place for youth, the homeless, the impoverished, and more. Instead of giving more games, jewelry, clothing, and gift cards, consider diverting some of your giving to those truly in need.

For more information, please click on the blog post “Seeking Worthy charitable causes“. To see those organizations I have already chosen to support and highlight, click here.

Be well! Lead On.


Adam L. Stanley
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“We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.”

— Winston Churchill

Seeking worthy charitable causes

I’d like to support YOUR charity


It is getting toward the end of another great year and I am looking to do something different than giving presents to friends and family. I continue to support my favorite organizations like Washington University, Hopewell Baptist Church, Howard Brown Health Center, WBEZ Chicago Public Radio, and Cabrini Green Legal Aid. Now, however, I want to give to charities with whom I have not previously been connected. No strings or commitments, and to be clear I’m talking relatively small gifts of $100, $250, or $500 per org. Not huge by any means but I know there are small organizations out there that could use every dollar. I have no preset limit (nor minimum) on total giving as part of this year-end effort, but I hope to support several new organizations with gifts of $100, $250, or $500. While I ask NOT to be added to any lists, I am clearly looking for causes that may merit continued support. I will make all decisions and donations before the end of this year. Thus, please do not post anything after December 31.

So here are my simple rules followed by explanation of what your organization needs to do.

Easy Rules:

1) Charity must be formally registered as a United States based nonprofit charitable organization.

2) I will not support any charity that promotes or supports hatred, violence, discrimination, racism, sexism, homophobia, or anything that could be seen as such.

3) Political organizations or lobbying groups that would not qualify for tax exempt status or otherwise any groups for which my donation would not be deductible as a charitable contribution are excluded.

What you should do if interested:

1) ***OPTIONAL*** Fully follow me online by going to this link >>

2) Comment on the blog below explaining a bit about your charity and why you need support. Be sure to reference the organization’s website, Twitter handle, and/or FaceBook usernames if applicable.

3) ***OPTIONAL*** Mention in a tweet “@ALSWharton – would love for you to support [name of charity]” with a link to this blog post. Be sure to tweet from the twitter account of the charity.

That’s it. I will follow-up if more information is needed or I select your charity.

Thanks for all you do to help others. Keep up the good work!


If there is someone out there that wants to help out by making a matching contribution, let me know and I will share the candidates and selections with you. 20111123-224902.jpg

Be well! Lead On.

Adam L. Stanley

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Or at

“We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.”— Winston Churchill