When I first encountered network marketing, it immediately struck me as a very evolved way of doing business: in order to be successful, you have to lead other people to success. Network marketers already live this aspect of interconnectedness in their business, so it is very natural for them to extend this mindset into philanthropic projects.

"Philanthropy" comes from two ancient Greek words: philos means "friend" - a "philosopher" is a friend of wisdom (sophia in Greek)- anthropos means "human being" or "mankind" - anthropology is the study of humankind. A philanthropist is simply a "friend of mankind."

A network business is a people business. Far from being exclusively about profits, it is a business where people engage with their hearts. Being directly connected to others' success and well-being makes one think of global solutions - to use Brian Klemmer's words, "a world that works for everyone, with no one left out."

A major part of being a networker is nurturing the leader within. A true leader looks to facilitate meaningful and lasting change in our communities and thinks about solutions that support life on the planet and help create a sustainable world. The power of networking provides the leverage to link small grassroots movements, so that people who once felt they were on their own can support others who share the same concerns. Network marketers are people who share a purpose, hold a vision and take action.

During my first training in network marketing, my upline offered a day-long workshop called "Overcoming Your Limiting Beliefs and Abundance Barriers." I worked with the following powerful affirmation: "I am following my heart and fulfilling my destiny." One hour after I walked out of this workshop, I walked into my soul-mate and future husband, Chris. Five years later we are launching an educational foundation for world peace together.

As you can read in this issue, there are countless stories like mine. Not only is it my belief, it is also my experience, that our deepest yearning is to give ourselves to a bigger cause, or better, the only cause, which is the oneness of all life. So to the question "to give or receive?," I answer: network marketers understand that giving and receiving blend together as the yin and yang in the eternal dance of life.

Josephine Gross, PhD,
is co-founder of Gabriel Media Group,
publishers of Networking Times