My mother always said: “Charity begins in your own back yard.” At 88, she still personifies the message. I’m grateful for having a “Practice what you preach” role model. On a limited budget, with all the responsibilities of her own family of seven, she generously donated time to her community through constant service. Witnessing this, formed an important part of my personality: My motivation in life is generosity and an urge to share whatever I have with others. Don’t get me wrong: I really prefer having money vs. not. I’ve lived on both sides of the street and I far prefer having money in my pocket and lots of it. However, for me, money is more fun when I see people who work with me buying and doing what they want, taking great vacations and having free time to enjoy themselves. Parties are inherently fun due to the presence of others. Giving money away to whoever I choose, whenever I feel like it, is very empowering on a level I cannot explain. I can only encourage others to try it. I’m not talking about giving away everything you make–although that might feel fantastic. I’m talking about sharing what you can, when you can. No other explanation or justification of the amount is required. The sharing can be anything you have to share: money, time, things you no longer need, food, a smile–whatever.
Choose your own personal ways to share with others. Don’t wait. Commit now to sharing your riches– whatever they are–with somebody else in someway. A smile, time, money, food, giving away clothes you don’t need, lending an ear, helping to raise awareness or funds. Donate to schools. Help children who don’t have the choice to better their lot. Find ways to recognize both active military and veterans. Volunteer for community projects.Perhaps there’s a local school burdened with a tight budget and lots of kids who need to get educated–you could volunteer to be a reading assistant or make a donation to their budget shortfall. Food drives along with your local church or office whereby you can collect and help deliver. Visiting a local Veteran’s Hospital. Collecting one toy per week for a year for the Marine’s Toys for Tots campaign. Smiling and delivering the food, blankets, makeup, shampoo or anything else to help a local homeless shelter. Volunteering to read for the blind. Picking up garbage and depositing it appropriately as you take a walk. Noticing something great about someone and telling them you recognize it. Help someone achieve their goals through sharing and being generous.
Decide what inspires your own personal brand of generosity.
Why do you want to regularly be generous and share? Because 1) you give another human be-ing hope through the gift of caring and 2) you benefit as you create your own karma. What goes around, comes around in ways you cannot begin to imagine. The sooner we all practice this in our own personal, unique ways–the better the world becomes.
Giving even when I think I really can’t afford to is “My Best Magic Secret of Success.” When I find myself worrying about a possible down-turn in business, I turn-up giving to my co-workers and others. It’s counter-intuitive–but somehow the Universe of God always notices and takes care of me.
Whatever you do for another, no matter how large or small, will make you feel good. I promise. Prove me wrong.