“There are two ways of spreading light – to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.”
— Edith Wharton, Vesalius in Zante
Conduits are always moving but never move.
Highways move goods across the nation. Pipes move life giving water. Ducts move air. The postal service moves mail. Mass transit moves people. Without these conduits, it’s difficult to move things.
There are giving conduits as well. Food banks move donations to people who are food insecure. The Lions Club moves used eyeglasses. Goodwill moves most anything that is reusable. Each of these giving conduits creates an avenue for people to give more. Without them, a lot would not be given.
People can be giving conduits, also. The guy at the office who goes around and gathers up donations for the company holiday donation. The runner who gets pledges for the charity race. The Boy Scout who gathers up the old Christmas trees to be turned into bark chips so they don’t end up in landfills. The lady who organizes her class reunion to help connect old friends. A parent who’s willing to shuttle not only his or her own kids, but the neighborhood kids as well.
Each of these people are willing to overcome a few hurdles to make it easier for others to be more charitable.
As my family prepares to serve Christmas dinner to the families at the Good Neighbor Center, I honored that we’ve become a sort of giving conduit as well. There are many who are contributing to this effort to feed several homeless families – some are baking pies, some are making casseroles, some have contributed cash, and some have even offered to help serve dinner. All of these people have something to give and all it took was a conduit through which they could.
Is there something you can do to make it easy for others to give a little more? Something right in your own neighborhood or community? Perhaps you’ve been considering being a sponsor for a charitable organization. What about signing up for a 5K walk and getting a few pledges?
I believe most people are inherently generous, but the more difficult it is for them to give the less likely they will. Making it easy is a wonderful way to bring joy to three people’s lives. The giver, the receiver, and conduit.
You don’t have to move mountains to move others to give a little. You just need to make it easy for them.
More prep work for our Christmas dinner. Also spent a couple hours wrapping presents.
* Side note – I see that over the course of the last year my day count has gotten off by one. Christmas eve should be day 364, so I’ve made this day 363 again. It’s a small detail, but thought I’d mention it for the other engineers in the audience.