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Giving of One’s Self & One’s Resources [Stuart M. Kaplan '55]

“Throughout all of these activities and over a fairly long lifespan, I have always attributed the initial igniting of such interest to the PBHA experience!”

I participated in PBHA activities for several years while at Harvard, and that was when the organization was just a youngster in its fifties.

During all of these intervening years (I am now 80!) I have never forgotten the experience(s) that organization afforded me. Exposure to all kinds of challenges ranging from working with elderly long-term institutionalized women to youngsters at a gym where equipment and trainers were almost nonexistent. I learned early on the obvious: giving of one’s self and one’s resources is a huge “reward” in itself. Some of the specific lessons learned include one of my personal mantras to this day: look for partial solutions, you cannot deal with yet alone solve all of the world’s problems. There is a huge amount and variety of misery out there. To get just one of those institutionalized older women to a point where she could for example work in a laundry facility was itself quite a thrill.

Most importantly, I came to realize that all of these needs are interconnected: sort of a “web theory”, wherein education is tied in with health, with environmental issues, with cultural exposure in the broad sense of the word, you name it. Personally, I find that while active in a number of nonprofits to this day, I cannot so to speak spread my flower petals all over. So, I focus mainly on the younger generations, and their need to maintain hope and nurture. Throughout all of these activities and over a fairly long lifespan, I have always attributed the initial igniting of such interest to the PBHA experience!

Stuart M. Kaplan ’55

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