The recent confluence of global political tensions, natural disasters, and everyday stresses has left no lack of things for people to worry about. Most recently, heartbreaking photos of the devastation from Hurricane Irma dominate my newsfeed. Yet, alongside these images of debris and submerged buildings are stories of ordinary people selflessly giving their time, resources, and talents to help those in need. It got me thinking about how generosity is a catalyst for hope in dark times, and the joy of giving is itself a gift from God.
Generosity has no Limits
While watching and reading the news lately, I’ve noticed an undeniable joy in people sharing stories of helping the victims of this summer’s natural disasters, whether it’s a celebrity donating a large sum of money to reconstruction efforts, a man helping a stranger get to safety, or a woman helping her neighbour install storm shutters. Even the impromptu donations made at the grocery store till bring a sense of warmth and hope to others in line. Happiness rises as people focus on being generous to others, and these actions inspire hope. Yet, the joy of giving isn’t limited to responding to a specific disaster. Imagine the impact if we made giving generously a priority all the time.
I see the joy of generosity every day in my clients at Abundance Canada. Their faces light up when they talk about what God has given them, and joy overtakes them as they tell their stories about sharing God’s goodness with others. Some have small gifting accounts to make an annual donation to a charity that is important to them. Others give larger amounts. Still others have carefully mapped out a plan to make a significant contribution with a bequest. The amounts and the methods of giving may vary, but the motivation is the same—God is good and we are privileged to share his blessings with others.
How have you experienced the deep-down joy of giving and living generously? Please feel free to share your comments below.
by Peter Dryden, Abundance Canada Gift Planning Consultant serving generous people in Calgary and across Alberta