I was raised in a household where the importance of giving was made very clear; part of my heritage was about leaving the world a better place than it was when you left it. Even though I believe in that principle, I think it was the kind of thing that I wound up taking for granted. Did it feel good to give? Yes. It’s always nice to do the right thing by people; I just never really thought about it, and as a result I haven’t done as much as I could have.
Then Jennifer started this site and this movement, and I started to look at things differently. For example, a little over a week ago I had the opportunity to participate in a charity Scrabble tournament to benefit Bookends, a charity started by kids that benefits kids by running book drives to help bring books to schools in need. The entire event was well-run and the fact that I got to spend time with friends of mine who were also attending made it a way for me to give to myself; by entertaining my tablemates, I was doing my best to give to others (the people right around me); at the same time I had the privilege of supporting a charity that makes a difference in kids’ lives – giving to the world.
I felt that night that I was part of something larger than myself, and that my participation had in some minuscule way helped move things forward. We all have those opportunities every single day – you don’t need to have money or some vast wealth of resources to make a difference. All you need is the perspective to identify those opportunities when they arise and a willingness to act, and you’ll achieve the feeling I’m talking about. Those tiny shifts in perception are all it takes for a group of people to make big changes. I’m so excited to be a contributor to Get Out And Give and I hope you’ll contribute too.