Gratitude is the key that unlocks generosity.
The spirit of Thanksgiving offers precious moments of reflection to take stock of all that we are thankful for. This iconic American holiday provides an opportunity to consider our blessings and measure the abundance in our lives. It seems natural that we take a pause to focus more on what’s good about life- food to eat and a roof over our heads, the love and support of family and friends, the kindness of strangers, and human connection in general. When we look for an outlet for that gratitude, we oftentimes are more inspired to be generous with others by more freely expressing our thanks, volunteering our time, or writing a check to support people in need and organizations that are doing impactful work in our communities.
It’s easy to cultivate gratitude. Every day, we find something to be grateful for. Fresh air, a good cup of coffee, a meaningful conversation with a friend, family member, or colleague, the companionship of a dog. Generosity, on the other hand, takes extra effort on our part. It requires us to share of ourselves through our time, compassion, wisdom, or money. Generosity enhances others and it requires giving without the expectation of benefiting from someone else’s gratitude.
Generosity is not giving me that which I need more than you do,
but it is giving me that which you need more than I do.
Click here to read more about the connection between gratitude and generosity and to begin to explore outlets for your giving.
What I Believe about Gratitude in my Life
On October 12, 2018, I boarded a plane to Los Angeles. Once I found my Basic Economy seat in the middle of the back row (the one next to the bathroom that does not recline), I started to sob. The situation was only a manifestation of my current life. Click here to read more
“When you practice gratefulness, there is a sense of respect toward others.”
– The Dalai Lama
What I’m Learning
I continue to learn about the powerful role that gratitude plays in a joyful and meaningful life. Life gets complicated and we need to train our brains to look for what’s right and then let the power of gratitude take over. Gratitude inspires generosity. Here is a podcast that inspires through examples of overcoming adversity, finding a purpose greater than oneself, and activating gratitude into generosity.
When Giving Is All We Have
One river gives
Its journey to the next.
We give because someone gave to us.
We give because nobody gave to us.
We give because giving has changed us.
We give because giving could have changed us.
We have been better for it,
We have been wounded by it—
Giving has many faces: It is loud and quiet,
Big, though small, diamond in wood-nails.
Its story is old, the plot worn and the pages too,
But we read this book, anyway, over and again:
Giving is, first and every time, hand to hand,
Mine to yours, yours to mine.
You gave me blue and I gave you yellow.
Together we are simple green. You gave me
What you did not have, and I gave you
What I had to give—together, we made
Something greater from the difference.
It all begins with gratitude
I work with people as they take stock of their blessings, express gratitude and appreciation, and connect with themselves, their family, the community
and the world at large by engaging in philanthropy.
Together, we identify a shared value system for philanthropic work; and
determine the pathway forward for strategic impact.
Click here to learn more and begin a conversation.