"It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ahhh. Words of wisdom. I recently had the privilege to lead a group of walkers to raise money for Juvenile Diabetes, a cause very dear to my heart as my 12-year old son battles it daily. Our team was made of mostly of people I did not even know.
Over the course of two months, our team grew and raised money. We got publicity and we made an impact. I began to receive donations in the mail to further our cause. There were some from people I have never met and probably never will. There were checks that were generous beyond my wildest expectations from people I did know. The momentum we gained was substantial and what began as 'something good to do' (a SHOULD -- 'I should do this,') ended up becoming a powerful mission for me.
There is an explosive leap of growth that occurs when one gives -- whether it be in time, energy or money.
My daughter's 5th grade class has begun to share their time once a month with some elderly folks at a nearby assisted living home. They load up on the bus and go spend time with their 'buddy' -- each resident there is paired with a child. My daughter interviews Ruby each time and learns about her life -- her favorite food being chocolate, how she has no children, where she grew up, what she believes, etc. A really beautiful bond is forming and both parties are blessed from this small gift of kindness. I am grateful my daughter is learning to freely give at an early age.
Recently, the minister at the church where I am a member, challenged the congregation to tithe for at least one month. He asked us to do this on faith. Just give. He gave us (with permission from his board) a 'money-back guarantee' if we did not see more of God's blessings in our life by the end of the month.
It was pretty bold. Pretty unheard of, actually. I was definitely impressed and, of course, had to take the challenge. It was scary, believe me, but I did have faith. I am pleased to tell you that the exact dollar amount I gave for THAT month is the same amount of money I will now receive EACH month from a new income stream. The giver is blessed.
Kathleen Kennedy Townsend says that, "The essence of volunteerism is not in giving part of a surplus one doesn't need, but giving part of one's self. Such giving is more than a duty of the heart, but a way people help themselves by satisfying the deeper spiritual needs that represent the best in us."
What can you do to give? Can you share your time? Resources? Expertise? Compassion? Prayers? Money? Past experiences? Think about it. You have gifts and talents. How can you bless the lives of others? I encourage you to find a way to share yourself. NOW is the perfect time. Don't wait. You will bless the lives of others. And, it is in the giving that the gift is gained for all.
Beth Burns is a Professional Life Coach, partnering with motivated people on their personal and professional goals.