“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.”
— Mother Teresa
Yesterday was Giving Tuesday, a simple idea to break apart two frenetic days of shopping and allow the giving spirit of the holidays to shine through.
Perhaps you joined the event and gave your time to help a non-profit, perhaps you didn’t, or maybe you wanted to help but just didn’t have the time.
It’s easy to say we don’t have time to help. Those of us with full-time jobs, family, kids, and never-ending commitments have a lot of solid reasons for not being able to add something new to our schedule. Or rather, we have very few of something else. Minutes.
We’re over-scheduled, over-committed, and over-extended. We’re under stress, under water, and under pressure. We’re running late and walking on eggshells.
However you want to say it, we feel like we don’t have time to do, let alone give, anything. And since the payoff for giving isn’t really obvious, or sometimes the problems we want to solve are too large for simple solutions, it’s easy to just push giving out of our minds and focus solely on the chaos of daily life.
But even if we can’t do everything, we can do something. Even if there’s room for nothing, we can still choose to give a little thing. Even just one tiny thing.
Today, I had the grandest intentions of spending my lunch hour volunteering to give back and celebrate Giving Tuesday, but try as I might, I couldn’t find a non-profit whose needs matched my skills, time, and availability in the middle of the work week. There was room for nothing.
So, instead, I gave peanuts.
To be more precise, I bought a few jars of peanut butter at the store on the way to work and deposited them in our Oregon Food Bank donation barrel at work. It was only one case of peanut butter, in only one barrel, in only one office, in only one country, but it was something. And it might help feed the few children of a few families with too few dollars to spend.
Giving Tuesday was just one day to celebrate giving. It’s not the last chance to give this season. We have the opportunity to give something every day, make the world like we want it to be, and change ourself in the process.
Even if it’s not everything, the small gifts are a lot more than peanuts.
Yesterday’s gift of time … Brought a case of peanut butter for our office’s holiday food collection barrel.