Friday, June 01, 2007

On Filling a God-Sized Hole

Today's Houston Chronicle had a front-page article on the passing of Dr. John P. “Jack” McGovern (1921-2007), “a noted allergist, scholar and philanthropist who is considered one of the Texas Medical Center’s most important figures…” The article is at

As an indicator of his thoroughgoing philanthropy, the article lists numerous Houston venues that bear his name, also noting that he endowed scores of professorships, honorary degrees and awards at universities nationwide. His charitable foundation was valued at almost $200 million in 2005.

The paragraphs at the end of the article are inspirational:

McGovern said he learned about generosity from his grandmother. As a child, he saw her feed the hungry from her home in Washington, D.C., during the Depression.

“I learned from watching my grandmother that giving and receiving is the same thing,” he once said. “…I think everybody’s got an empty spot inside, and I call it the God-sized hole that we have to fill. And you can’t do that with Caesar’s world stuff—money, property, prestige. That doesn’t fill that hole. Love does… Love in the sense of deep caring.”

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