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Thought of the Moment

April 19, 2011

One good check on the Robin Hood archetype is to ask how much the bender-of-the-morals will personally benefit. Another check is to remember that, ultimately, for justice to work it has to be inseparably married to truth.

Mortenson needs to provide clearer answers, and he says they’re coming. He also needs to increase transparency all around. As givers or as people leading a charity, our hearts constantly need to be in concert with our heads — that is, with what is true. Transparency, accountability, and sharing power are crucial for making this happen.

And for all of us who are charitable givers, well, Mortenson’s story is not an excuse for a lack of generosity to help, for example, educating girls in Afghanistan or Haiti or elsewhere. To use this as an excuse would be flimsy and cheats justice. But to blame the media or not to insist on clearer answers short-changes the need for truth.

The right position is to be in mutual service to justice and truth — and to keep being humbled by this posture.

That’s Kent Annan at The Huffington Post on the Greg Mortenson scandal (emphasis mine).

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