I used to joke that if I was truly self-aware and capable of it, the day I was born I would have never allowed anyone, doting parents and grandparent, relatives of any ilk, friends at a beer fest, the DMV, any school I ever went to producing annual yearbooks, anyone at all, to take my picture. Then and only then when I was old enough to be self-aware could I set out on a life of Robin Hood-like crime as a faceless cat thief in the night never to be caught on camera, on the pathway to creating the myth behind the mysterious criminal who was anonymously into redistributing wealth without permission. Books would be written, movies made, stories told around campfires as the lore grew. A human Bigfoot, a loch ness monster, a real alien, a wisp in the night with a cause everyone could understand, a cause celeb, a cause that all, but the rich could believe in. That’s a lot of people.
I can hear the conversations of those who were robbed. I can hear the timbre in the voices of those that were beneficiaries. Of course, I could be right there listening because no one knows that I am the one behind it all.
“Who is this person? Certainly not the Lone Ranger. Nor Batman. They all wear masks. They all have alter egos that are necessary to know for their storyline to work.”
“Is he a man or woman, old or young, beautiful or ugly? Maybe not even human. Maybe spectral.”
Of course, I grew up before I ever thought of this diabolical strategy. “Drat,” as Snidely Whiplash would say, “foiled again.” What addled mind would waste his valuable time thinking of such a plan? Me, I guess, because in my mind redistributing wealth, especially to those in greatest need is worth the risk. God would approve. He might even help. I could be “God’s Thief.” I could be blessed.
There, by the grace of God goes the mind of a man-child, which is a moniker I am proud to wear in spite of the foolishness of it all. And, because I am not that bright, by the grace of God, I have learned that this notion of redistributing wealth can be done legitimately. It can be done intelligently. It can be done sustainably. It can be done anywhere. It is just not called wealth redistribution. It is embodied in the for-profit, non-profit social impact foundations and those they support who have recognized that there is a way to help those in the greatest need.
I did not join the Greater Impact Foundation to become a Hollywood-like lovable high class cat thief do-gooder. I joined because of a personally compelling desire to do something righteous absent the baggage of righteousness. To help those in need by working within the system with likeminded folks to have a lasting impact. I am still not a selfie taking personality, but it is a joy to stand next to those who work so hard to help others. There are many. Just focus the camera on them. Take their picture. Publish their stories. I am happy to bask in the glow of their greatness outside the eye of the camera. There is where I find joy.