Happy Birthday to Beth Kanter, the Bodhisattva

A Roof for the Bell

Bodhisattva: Term for the historical Buddha Gautama prior to his enlightenment as well as for other individuals destined to become buddhas. In Mahayana Buddhism the bodhisattva postpones attainment of nirvana in order to alleviate the suffering of others. The number of bodhisattvas is theoretically limitless, and the title has been applied to great scholars, teachers, and Buddhist kings.

Today is Beth Kanter’s 53rd birthday. In an effort to honor one of our great leaders with a surprise, Tweetsgiving Founder Stacey Monk enlisted 53 bloggers to blog about the impact she has made in our lives. I was honored to be included in the group.

Why? Because Beth has made a tremendous impression on me over the past two years! I have been blessed to work on some cool projects with her. She has been a great teacher, friend and source of inspiration. I am grateful for each of our interactions, and often find myself contemplating her suggestions for a day or two afterwards.

Beth reminds me of a Bodhisattva, an enlightened one who dedicates their time teaching others the path. She teaches, trains, blogs, and constantly gives information to people who can use it for societal change everyday. Her endless excitement about both communications and nonprofits continues to astound me. And it’s contagious, too.

Unlike many of her other contemporaries similar in influence, Beth really embodies what The Cluetrain Manifesto Co-Author Doc Searls meant by the Generous Web. She gives for the sake of doing the right thing, and accepts whatever comes back as gravy. We could all stand to be a little more like Beth.

Happy birthday, Beth. You truly are one of the great ones.