The Conversation: Your Fiduciary Duty.
A note from Michael
I’m a former investment banker and the term fiduciary is very familiar to me. However, I know when I first saw the word I had a hard time pronouncing it let alone understanding it. Let me define it for you.
In the financial world a fiduciary is a person who holds a legal or ethical relationship of trust with one or more other parties. Typically, a fiduciary prudently takes care of money or other assets for another person. In other circumstances it may be defined as someone who has undertaken to act for and on behalf of another in a particular matter in circumstances which give rise to a relationship of trust and confidence.
Inspiration for me comes from my own life or from you. You and I are community, we’re friends. We talk before and after classes about life, experiences, and anything and everything.
Last Thursday I burst through the backdoor of the Naples studio in my usual tornado fashion. Banjo in one hand, over stuffed bag of useless crap in the other. Immediately saw our fellow community member Greg. Haven’t seen him in a couple of weeks. Dropped my stuff, gave a hug, and we started chatting. Catch up conversation always twists and turns and some how it turned on the fiduciary responsibilities of brokers (real estate, investment, banks etc). He said something that struck me. I’m paraphrasing, but tantamount to that people in these positions often forget that they are entrusted with the best interest of those they serve. That kindness and compassion are often tossed out the window over personal gain.
I was so enamored by this that when I walked into teach I kept losing my train of thought. I was derail on whatever I was supposed to talk about because the wheels of exploration were turning on this concept.
We are all citizens of humanity, with citizenship we are endowed certain responsibilities. You’ve probably heard me say you have a “choice” in behavior. I respectfully retract the idea of choice and insist that you are obliged if not demanded to walk through this life with integrity.
Truth be told, the moment we walk out of our homes or pick up a device that gives us connection to others we give up our private lives and hold the public trust in our hands. We hold with an unsaid credence that is embedded in our duties as a citizen. There are up days and down days. But it’s time to cut the shit and stop blaming the moments we step out of integrity on the bad days. This responsibility is constant and unwavering.
Acts of kindness, demonstration of compassion, our ability to offer up dignity and respect, to walk in grace and to stand in the firm foundation of integrity are not passable moments we are striving for. They are not feel good moments. These are the basic requirements of trust to serve as a citizen of humanity. They are our fiduciary responsibilities as a human being.