“My life is my message.”
— Mahatma Ghandi
Sometimes when you give, it doesn’t give us much in return.
Maybe it was a check you wrote for a cause that you didn’t really care about. Or, you chipped in a dollar for one of those checkout donation boxes. Perhaps you did an automatic tax refund donation by checking a checkbox on your tax return.
That could be called mindless, or automatic, giving. There are a few reasons why it’s not very satisfying.
- It takes almost no time.
- It often involves a small, monetary donation.
- There was little forethought. Or afterthought.
- It’s for a cause you know nothing about.
Why would you ever want to give under those circumstances? There are a few, good reasons.
- Small contributions multiplied many-fold can lead to big results. Loaves and Fishes meal delivery service in Portland gets around $20K annually from those little checkout lines.
- If someone is asking you directly for a small donation to their non-profit organization, it’s possible that they are not comfortable asking for money. No one I know likes to ask for money, but charities need money too. Helping someone build confidence to continue helping their charitable cause, helps everyone.
- It’s an invitation to learn more about where your dollar goes, and who it serves. Jot down the website on the donation box, or look it up online when you get home.
- You are still acting and giving. That tiny, seemingly insignificant act of thankless generosity speaks volumes about your character.
Sometimes, our return on investment may be small, or even non-existant. That small donation still makes a difference.
If nothing else it says a lot about who you are.
Yesterday’s gift of time … Donated some school supplies at my office. It was nice to see the large pile of supplies as our intern who organized the donation drive will be most happy.