I have giving on the brain.
We’re heading into the season for it in America, though I’ve never understood why we tend to pack all of our giving into the last couple of months of the year. Are we trying to make ourselves feel better before the calendar changes? Are we making up for what we lacked during the firs 10 months of the year?
Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could just be thankful every day of the year? We could even make big turkey dinners and drink peppermint-flavored coffee whenever we desire. We could actively spend time with those that mean the most to us, send cards and give gifts of love.
I try to live my life this way, but I’m guilty of getting wrapped up in the craziness of everyday life as a single working mom.
It’s been an emotional week. If you’re American – even if you are not – you’ve no doubt felt it too. I’ve personally gone through disbelief, anger, sadness, confusion and frustration. I’ve had some interesting conversations with my kids, and I’ve promised (myself and my kids) to take action if / when necessary. I always tell my boys that we have a voice, but no one will hear it if we don’t use it.
Along with our voice, we also need to pay attention, listen and ask questions.
I am reminded of a call I received at work a few weeks back. As a director of development for my local homeless prevention organization, I work with a lot of donors. The man who called me said he was on our website. He appreciated our work in the community and wanted to help. He saw our general wish list of items we typically need and called to ask what items were on the top right at that moment.
I can’t tell you how much I appreciated his call. I thanked him and told him we really needed diapers, size 4 specifically, for a mom our case manager was working with on an outreach basis. He came into the office within an hour to drop off 4 pick packages of diapers, which I then dropped off to our homeless shelter. He made an immediate, positive impact in someone’s life and made my job a little easier that day.
All he did was take some time to do a little research and make a phone call to ask a question.
A few weeks before that phone call, I received a message from a woman who called simply to thank me for calling her to let her know that I could not take a donation she wanted to make. She appreciated that I took the time to call her back and even try to give her some suggestions as to where she might take her donation.
When did we get to the point that these phone calls are unusual? Where asking what someone else needs or telling someone no thank you is met with surprise.
I’m a big proponent of finding simple ways to give every day. So much so that I wrote a book about it. Simple, kind gestures can make a difference in other people’s lives. And though it may not seem like it, you don’t know what kind of positive impression you may have made with your action.
In my book, I talk about how acts of kindness can be a pathway to even more giving. It feels good and makes you want to spread more positivity. It seems fitting that last Sunday was World Kindness Day. It also happened to be a day that seemed to be flooded with hilarious Joe Biden memes.
As moms, it’s our job to show our kids how to be kind and tolerant of others while also knowing when to use our voice to stand up for what we believe in.
I think we could all use some positivity and kindness right about now, no matter what part of the world we are in.
I don’t know what will happen in America moving forward, but I do know that now, more than ever, we need to pay attention, listen, ask questions and make our voices heard. We need more kindness and more willingness to understand the needs and beliefs of others. Not just during the giving season or in an election year. Every day of the year.
This is an original post by Jennifer Iacovelli for World Moms Network.
Do you have any good simple giving or daily acts of kindness stories? Please share them with us!