thought the United States was probablyntrying to do something impossible.nTrying to do the impossible means,noften, evasion, for it keeps you fromnthe possible, from savoring what younhave.nShe was replying to a remark ofnmine that in some sense Europe wasnone culture and many peoples, and thenUnited States wanted to be one peoplenand many cultures, Europe inside-out.nThe general .bafflement at the differencenbetween Europe and the UnitednStates shows up in some of the currentntalk about “the unity of Europe,” anphrase that makes little sense except innterms of trade. The Europeans knownor sense these differences but do notndare talk about them, a mark of thenextent of their Americanization.nAs far as I can tell, this combinationnof one culture and many peoples hasnoccurred in history only in Europe,nand is the reason for European expansionnthroughout the world. Its basis wasnlaid in the Roman Republic and Empire,nbut its greatest test and triumphncame after the fall of the RomannEmpire in the West in 476 A.D., whennit continued to spread and survivenamong the conquering barbarians innpart because of Christianity.nIn some sense the Romans foundntheir greatest expansion after their politicalnfall, and this expansion tooknplace beyond their frontiers, roughlynthe Rhine-Danube. At the same timenthe breakdown in Roman authority,nfirst in the civil wars that destroyed thenRepublic and then in the fall of thenEmpire, is still felt today. For thenspread of one culture did not bringnpolitical unity. In fact it seemed tondepend on the avoidance of politicalnunity, a secret Rome did not know, andnone that caused many tragedies.nThe source of this strength to spreadnbeyond the boundaries of nations andnkingdoms comes from the capacity thisnculture has to say it was wrong and tonrepent. The readiness to acknowledgenthat one is wrong existed in Rome andnGreece also. Socrates understood this,nand more importantly could bringnother people to acknowledge their mistakes.nHe knew that was the way tonstrength, in contrast to force — he alsonknew it was very dangerous. The will­nTHE WISDOM OF THE PLANNED GIFTningness to admit wrong persisted innRome in the institution in politics ofnalways hearing two sides of an argument,nan institution that perhaps didnnot survive the fall of the ancientnworld. Christianity is not so clearheadednabout choice. This ambiguity, evennambivalence, about choice makes usnthink a great deal about tolerance,nsomething the ancients took so forngranted they did not have the words fornit. We do not in our politics argue thenother side of an issue as a matter ofncourse, in part because even when wendo not agree, we tend to want to thinknthere is only one way. “The onlynalternative” we call it, an oxymoron.nBut the readiness to acknowledgenone is wrong came to be the center ofnour institutions not so much because ofnSocrates and the Romans but becausenof the readiness of David to acknowledgenand repent his murder of Uriah.nHere it was not only a man, an individualnlike Socrates, saying he was wrong,nbut also a king. You can see the tracesnof this act in many places, among themnthe second part of Marbury v. MadUnson, where the precedents for recoursenThere are a variety of ways to give to educational and charitable organizations, likenThe Rockford Institute, publisher of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture.nMost people make outright gifts which result in a “charitable deduction” from a person’sntaxable income.nAnother option is to establish a Charitable Remainder Trust. For example, supposena person bought some stock at a cost of $20,000 many years ago that is now worthn$50,000 and pays 3 percent in dividends. One way to lock in the current value,navoid capital gains tax, and derive more income would be to create a CharitablenRemainder Unitrust. Pay-out percentages can be fixed from 5 percent to 8 percent,nand the investments are in secure income-producing investments. If the trust earnsnmore than the agreed pay-out amount, that additional money is added each yearnto the trust so that the size of the trust increases. Upon the death of the donor or hisnbeneficiary, the trust would become the property of the Institute or other charitiesnof the donor’s choice. Estate taxes are eliminated and there is a sizeable charitable deduction in the year the trust isnestablished. The amount of the charitable deduction depends on the age of the donor and the income retained.nLegacy Program, The Rockford Institute, 934 North Main Street, Rockford, IL 61103nD Please send me general information on the various “Planned Giving” options.nn Please send me information on the Institute’s Charitable Remainder Trust Fund.nNAME.n.ADDRESS.nCITY _nSTATE ZIP PHONEnIf you have a specific asset, such as stocks, that you are considering for a contribution, and if you would like the Institute to evaluate the fmancialntax implications for your gift, please include the following information:nSS # SS # (SPOUSE)nCOST OF ASSET ESTIMATED MARKET VALUEnnnFEBRUARY 1991/49n