What I want to teach my kids about giving back

December 2nd  |  


Given my career and lifestyle, I’ve had the opportunity to travel the world. And those experiences have given me a different perspective. I’ve been able to go beyond my own day-to-day world and see how others live. In places like South Africa, Ghana and India, I’ve seen spectacular sights—as well as poverty in its truest form. It’s one thing to know that something is going on, but when you are there and view it with your own eyes, it makes an impact. It changes your outlook.

We have clean running water, electricity, shelter and food. When I feel the urge to complain, the knowledge that other people go without these basic necessities makes me realize how blessed we are. I’m thankful and appreciative of the abundance in my life.

When I joined the NBA, I felt like I’d accomplished a very big dream of mine. And I wanted to use that for good. It isn’t about just putting my name on something or giving money. I strive to contribute my time, listen to other people, learn their stories and share inspirational words.

These experiences and this mindset are things I want to pass along to my kids. In the future, as they grow older and understand more, I want to expose them to other parts of the world—to take them to Africa and India to visit and volunteer. I hope these travels are just as life-changing as they were for me.

And a bit closer to home, my wife and I plan to get them involved in the local community—back-to-school benefits, holiday gift giving, all kinds of philanthropy. We’re especially passionate about helping kids. In my own childhood, I attended free basketball camps, and those opportunities paved the way for my future in more ways than one. I’d love to continue to give back with my kids by my side, showing them that being grateful, generous and openhearted is simply a way of life.

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