As I build my business, I realize I’m lead to give back. I’m inspired by some of the most generous people I know of (Oprah, Ellen, J.K. Rowling, Bruce Halle) to incorporate giving into my own life. On the surface, it seems only natural that people who have so much would give back. The thing is, I think it’s our responsibility to give back to others. It’s important to sow into our communities and give of our time, money, and service. The responsibility doesn’t start or stop with the wealthy; it falls on all of us.
No matter how much or how little we have, there’s always someone with less or who is in need. When money is tight, it can be hard to dig into your pocket and give but I think that’s when it matters most. If I don’t give now at the point that I’m at the tightest place I’ve been financially, what will motivate me to give when I have in excess? Giving is something you do from your heart. If you aren’t lead to give $1 when you have $10, you aren’t very likely to give $1,000 when you have $10,000. I don’t think it’s the amount that matters but the state in which you give. If you give from a place inside of you that can identify with a need or simply wants to help, that’s a powerful place to give from. I also find it incredibly inspiring when I see someone sacrifice to give. It’s relatively easy to give of your excess but to give in sacrifice is humbling.
Giving doesn’t even have to be financial or material. If you can’t spare a $1 because it will break your budget, you can give of your time. You can volunteer for a local organization that is helping the community. There’s a great website that delivers volunteer opportunities to your inbox. All you have to do is identify the areas that are close to your heart and you’ll receive updates with organizations that are in need of volunteers. It doesn’t have to be taxing of your time. You can go as often as you can accommodate. Organizations are always happy to have people help. While the needs of some require someone they can frequently depend on, you’d be surprised by the number of organizations that are flexible with volunteer hours.
Service goes hand in hand with time but I like to address it separately. Giving of your service can mean you provide business services free of charge. Maybe you contribute a certain percentage of your time to the community. Maybe you host a class or workshop to teach local youth your trade. Maybe you have a hobby that you can use to provide a service (crochet blankets for hospital patients, the homeless, or animals in shelters). Maybe you can teach cooking classes, start an urban garden that local kids can help tend to, or host an event at a park.
Giving is such an important way of showing thanks for what you have. You never know how giving back can impact the receiver; it shows someone cares. While I’m excited for when the dollar amount of my giving can have a greater impact, I’m not letting that stop me from giving what I can now. I come up with many ways to give back in the capacity I’m able to. I know that by making giving back a regular aspect of my lifestyle, it will expand at the same rate my finances and business success does. I encourage you to give back to your local community as well as organizations that cater to things close to your heart. Don’t let the amount hold you back because if everyone gave a little and sacrificed to dig a little deeper, it would make a great impact to those that need it most.
In what ways do you give back to your community? Has this inspired you to make giving part of your lifestyle? I’d love to hear, feel free to share in the comments!
Here are a few random acts of kindness you can incorporate into your week. Click on the photo for details about second annual The Kindness Challenge taking place in May.