Many of us are tired and overworked. We struggle just to get through the day with all the 24/7 email accessibility, comparisons on social media, and negative headlines. Sometimes we see a clip or quote from Oprah, Ellen, or Melinda Gates, who inspire us to celebrate who we are and what we do. They speak to our hearts: we are good and can use that deep good inside us to make a difference.
They have millions—even billions—of dollars, and yet, they know that changing the world for the better can’t happen alone and with all the money in the world. They know that those mounds and mounds of money can’t buy what we are all looking for: meaning, love, and connection. The only way to give those soul-empowering feelings to ourselves and each other is to give. Giving is what we need to fuel ourselves for persevering through our everyday trials and lives.
We each have an opportunity to create a ripple effect as we go throughout our day: smiling at the cashier, hugging our friend, kissing our children, patting our coworker on the back, or telling a joke. But, no one’s going to give you money to do those very important and soul-empowering intangible actions. No one is going to reward you—except yourself. We are hard-wired to feel good through small acts of service.
“Be kind to one another,” says Ellen. Oprah believes: “The more thankful I became, the more my bounty increased.” Melinda states, “Philanthropy is not about the money. It’s about using whatever resources you have at your fingertips and applying them to improving the world.”
Become a master of every-day pleasantries; buy Girl Scout cookies; drop off a can in the food pantry bin; or, give the pan-handler a couple coins. These affect at least two people: the recipient—and yourself.
How are you going to be kind, thankful, and giving today?