My mother always said: “Charity begins in your own back yard.” Until the day she died at 92, she personified that 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. She was excellent at teaching us all to share. 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. Nothing makes me happier than when someone tells me: “Dian, you helped me change my day for the better.”
Don’t get me wrong: Appreciating charitable living does not mean that I don’t like money. In fact, I kind of think of myself as a “social capitalist.” In other words, I like supporting social causes that I believe in and I need to make money to do that because when I’m making money a cycle begins: I have both more time and money to donate; I have greater self-esteem; I have more self-confidence; and, I feel way more generous so I seek opportunities to help others grow so they can make money and feel proud and more confident of their independent status, too.
I’ve lived on both sides of the street and I far prefer money in my pocket and lots of it. However, for me, money is more fun when I see others buying and doing what they want, taking 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 don’t think that’s in my plans until I die and can’t make spending choices myself. 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. As I just said, a smile, time, money, food, giving away clothes you don’t need, lending an ear, volunteering to help another read or just reading to them, helping to raise awareness or funds are a few. Then there’s donate to schools, help children who don’t have the choice to better their lot, find ways to recognize both active military and veterans, and 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 or a nursing home. 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 your 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 Success Secret.” When I find myself worrying about a possible down-turn in business, I turn-up giving to 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.