A Trend Worth Keeping
We all need some good news right now, and I love hearing stories of neighbours helping neighbours, random acts of kindness for frontline workers, and celebrities giving back. The media has been highlighting big generosity lately, but you don’t need a multi-million-subscriber channel to start your own generosity trend. You just have to be willing to put others first in little ways everyday.
About four years ago, I made a conscious decision to restructure my life around the principle of generosity. To this day, I can’t say exactly why I chose to do it, but I know that I was deeply disturbed seeing the world’s wealth possessed by an ever-shrinking percentage of the population. Frankly, it would have been easy for me to throw up my hands and say, “What difference can I make?” but I felt compelled to take some kind of action.
With no grand plan beyond “being more generous”, I started by helping one person…and then I helped another person…and then another.
“As our communities slowly reopen, let’s choose to keep the giving going. It only takes small choices every day to start a generosity trend in your life” – David Barker, Gift Planning Consultant
Generosity Changes Everything
Instead of walking past the homeless man on my way to work, I greeted him and gave him the coins in my pocket. I put away the excuses and donated to the charity canvassers that rang my doorbell. My wife and I prayed about our giving to our church and increased our weekly offering. And we developed a Generosity Plan™ to help us give more strategically and consistently to our favourite charities.
In time, my desire to be generous began to shape my behaviour in all areas of my life, not just my charitable giving. It influenced my thoughts, my words and my actions. It became a part of who I am. Now, I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you there were and still are times when selfishness and self-interest intrude on these good intentions, but I can say from experience that the more I practice generosity, the more I want to give.
Let’s Keep the Giving Going
Canadians have done a great job helping one another through difficult times lately, but I can’t help but wonder if that trend towards goodwill and generosity will last. Will we still say, “We are all in this together”, even when “this” just means our normal everyday lives? Will we still greet our neighbours, donate to our communities, and share our wealth with the marginalized people of the world once we get back to busy schedules?
I sure hope so.
As our communities slowly reopen, let’s choose to keep the giving going. It only takes small choices every day to start a generosity trend in your life…and generosity changes everything.
Contributed by David Barker
Gift Planning Consultant