• Fred's Blog

    What Is In Your Hand?

    Listen to “What Is In Your Hand?” by Fred Smith   Since childhood, I have read the story of Moses at the burning bush and his reluctance in returning to Egypt and bringing the people of Israel out of slavery and into the Promised Land. “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’?”   Then the Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?”   “A staff,” he replied.  The Lord said, “Throw it on the ground.”  Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it. Then the Lord said to…

  • Fred's Blog

    Monks And Money

    Listen to “Monks and Money” by Fred Smith   One of my treasures is a framed picture of Peter Drucker, Bob Buford, Tom Luce and myself outside Peter’s house in Estes Park in the early 1990’s. Underneath it, Bob wrote, “The Beginning of the Social Entrepreneur Network.” It was an idea we had been working on for several years and one that was close to Peter’s heart as it combined two of his basic concepts – the value of the entrepreneur as a creative force and the social responsibility that entailed. I’ve been thinking about this recently because, like the word philanthropy, the phrase “social entrepreneur” has morphed over the…

  • Fred's Blog

    Grand Central

    Listen to “Grand Central” by Fred Smith   Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world… W.B. Yeats “The Second Coming” is one of the most quoted poems in history for at any moment enough people feel things are truly falling apart and the center cannot hold. But, ironically, centers falling apart is the very thing that keeps history moving forward. If the center were to hold forever everything would be stagnant and unchanging. It is, in many ways, the failure of the center to be permanent that makes all progress possible. Mere anarchy is not the only option. I know Yeats is describing…

  • Fred's Blog

    All That Is Hidden

    Listen to “All That Is Hidden” by Fred Smith   “The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either — but right through every human heart.” Alexander Solzhenitsyn Over the years, I have returned to read the remarks of Alexander Solzhenitsyn given at Harvard University in 1978 and published later as “A World Split Apart” in which he plays the prophet by his indictment of the corruption of the West through a combination of the seduction of luxury, extreme individualism and the loss of courage. For my generation, Solzhenitsyn became a hero for an era that had seen the dethroning of many…