Thursday, March 27, 2014

You don't have to be rich to make a difference

Many people would like the opportunity to make a difference in the world, but don't really have any idea where to begin.  They may think that they don't have enough money to help others, or that they lack specialized knowledge.  On the other hand, there are so many problems in the world that just knowing where to start can be challenging.

The book I Like Giving by Brad Formsma tackles all the questions that potential helpers might have, as well as giving many inspirational stories which will encourage everyone to give what they can.

A major focus of the book is the effect that giving has on the giver.  Multiple studies have shown that spending money on others or giving to charity increased the giver's well-being and leads to higher levels of happiness.  I also enjoyed reading about how college students who planned to enter "helping" professions later reported greater levels of happiness than those who were in professions that made a great deal of money.  Givers should also focus on the act of giving and not on the expected response of the recipient.  Expecting too much praise or gratitude will detract from the experience.

The author also discusses how everyone should look for opportunities every day to make a positive difference in the lives of others.  You should avoid the "nasty 4 letter words" that might become obstacles to this mission:  debt, fear, busy, etc.  The gift doesn't have to involve money, can be anonymous and should have no strings attached.  This helps the giver to constantly be on the lookout for ways to give and make a difference.  The potential giver's attitude should be "how do I get to give" -- not feel like an obligation.

Sprinkled throughout the book are personal stories from people and how they were able to put the giving project into action.  It was very inspiring to read the stories of people who set out to make the lives of those around them better.  Frequently, the whole family gets involved and the tradition of giving is passed on throughout the generations.  There are many stories of people who woke up one day hoping for a chance to make a difference, and before long that opportunity presented itself.  Each story begins "I Like . . ." followed by what was given (such as "I Like Nursing Fees").

To get inspired to increase your own spirit of giving, check out the following links:
Disclaimer: I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.

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