Monday, December 26, 2011

Pro Bono

No, I am not a big U2 fan. I am not big fan of attorneys, either. But sometimes the lawyers do get it right.  “Pro bono” is a term derived from Latin translated “for good.”   Modern thought has it that it also means "for free," since it is work done for good for free. 

It’s hard to imagine the legal profession giving me anything this holiday season, but it has given me this one thought. For the good, the better and the best gifts in life are truly free.

There is no cost of a smile, a hug to reaffirm a connection, a well-deserved compliment, a true belly laugh after a dirty joke or a good deed for a loved one.

Just a smidgen of money is needed for an unexpected phone call to an old friend, a well thought-out letter on real paper or email, a sarcastic Facebook post (okay maybe just from me) or the running of an errand for someone who can’t or won’t do it for whatever reason.

Some would argue that it all involves time and “time is money,” but we waste so much money anyway.  Just go to any store this holiday season. In fact, go to a store today and see the bargain hunters or the lines for returns.  Do we really need a salad shooter? This year’s toy?  Or anything that will end up in a garage sale in a short six months?

So as I clean up the living room floor, organize new clothes and hand-down the old ones, figure out what needs to be kept or returned, I leave you with this:

                        The greatest gift is a portion of thyself.
                                                                -Ralph Waldo Emerson

For the last two months or so I have give you my thoughts, my words and some of my hopes and fears.  The rest I do save as a return gift to the legal profession.  But most of all, as Ralph Waldo Emerson so simply but eloquently put it, I have given you myself. Pro bono.

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