Monday, November 5, 2007

Be more generous without spending a dime.

Loose change Uploaded on October 30, 2007 by asilva

I have to admit, I don’t think of myself as a generous person. I tend to horde things I love; books, toys, pens, quotes and most of all money. One of my goals is to be more generous and giving. To stop keeping all the cookies and chocolate to myself, but rather to share it with friends and coworkers. To give away books I’m done reading to others who might enjoy them. To return to those kindergarten lessons we learned so long ago: share, be nice, and treat others are you would want to be treated.

While I may not be as generous as I'd like, I try to share my time and skills with others whenever I can. If I can fix a computer problem for someone who is new, or do an errand to help a busy friend, I’m glad to do it. I love to point someone in the direction of a good restaurant, mechanic or store sale whenever I get the chance. Finding that hard-to-get toy for a niece or nephew is an adventure and long lines and busy stores do not deter my determination.

So why do I feel uncharitable and stingy? One reason is reading kindness web sites, biographies of great people, and self-help books. These stories of people who literally give away their last dollar and the shirt off their back fill me with inspiration and hope, but also a vague sense of guilt.

I resolve to make a plan to share my own type of generosity. As I’ve received kindness newsletters and surfed the Internet for ideas, I’ve come across many easy-to-do and cheap projects. One of my favorites was to put all your extra loose change into the candy, toy and gumball machines in a busy Wal-Mart for children to find and use. I remember as a child wanting one of those trinkets with great longing. This is an example of something that is easy to do, fun, and that will make me smile even if I’m not there to see the results.

Start today making your plan to be more generous. Don’t stick to only the conventional examples of giving gifts or money. Generously give the prime front parking space to the elderly person across from you. Donate your time to baby-sit for a busy family, offer to carpool with a coworker who doesn’t like to drive. Let the mother with three children plus a crying baby ahead of you at the checkout line. Join me in redefining what generosity is. Share kindness, share joy. Share a smile and make the world a better place without spending a dime.

1 comment:

Clubbs said...

I love the gumball machine idea! Totally doing that one next time I go to the store. Thanks!

Bob @ Every, Every Minute