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Sporadic photos and notes from a Psyche-midwife, cheerleader, anthropologist--aka clinical social worker in therapy practice. Photos are usually mine except for those of historical events/famous people. Music relevant to the daily topic is often included in a web video embedded below the blog. Click on highlighted links in the copy to get to source or supplemental material. For contact information, see my website @ janasvoboda.com or click on the button to the right below. Join in the conversation.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Resolution #9: Be Generous

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.--Winston Churchill

There are many ways to practice generosity.  It's a little late to reflect it on your 2010 taxes, but gifts of goods or money to your favorite charity are always welcome.  Don't worry about it being a small amount.  Think of it this way-- if every Oregonian gave a penny a day to say, scholarships to deserving impoverished commnunity college students, that would be $10,000,000 a year.  Every little bit counts.

You needn't give money to be generous.  Here's other ways to spread your wealth.
1.  Lend you ear to someone who needs to talk.
2.  Share specialized tools and equipment with friends, neighbors, schools.  My dad lived in a neighborhood that had a "tool library."  If you need an air compressor, serger, tile cutter or somesuch twice a year, it makes more sense to borrow one than buy one.  Just be sure you're willing to loan what you have as well.
3.  Share your talents and skills.  Volunteer to read or tutor at an elementary school; do maintenance at a local nonprofit, give a talk in your area of expertise to a community group.  Translate a language you know for someone who needs it. This one is wide open.  What can you do well? 
4.  Share your energy with someone whose is lagging.  Run an errand or cook a meal for someone sick or grieving.
5.  Share information.  OK, be careful with this one. I'm not talking about unsolicited advice.  But you may have an insider's scoop that can ease another's path or brighten their mood.  For example, when I got started in my practice, at least three therapists came forward to offer me forms to use  and client referrals.  I've done the same for another four or five.  I've had friends help me learn how to use my sewing machine, make a pie crust, etc-- all really appreciated.
I think I've only touched the surface with this one.  Look for the chance to be generous in some small or big way tomorrow.  As always, I am happy to hear what you did.

A few words about these resolutions:  these are all ways to improve your health and happiness in small ways.  I hope you will try checking each one off sometime during the month, though most are easy enough to do every day.  I will post a checklist on the blog shortly.  Print it out and see which ones you can hit at least once in the next few weeks.

I bet there are lots of videos about people's generosity and sharing on the web.  I found one about a dog first.

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