Often we think about giving in a solitary way. It’s just us giving.
We are approached by nonprofits and we give. We see a cause, and we give.
But you can have a greater impact if you do one thing: include others. Most importantly, include your family.
When you give solo, you are making an impact. But when you share it with others, as a lesson, an inspiration, and as a humble manifestation of good, you are helping the world. You are helping other members of your family see good taking place. Then, it can become a habit. Others will see that as a model of how one should live. They will naturally give.
Here’s some practical tips on how your family can give during the holidays or any time of year. Please share with us what you did!
1. Model Early
Certainly, a humble attitude regarding giving is always appreciated. When people speak about a long list of their giving, it can be about bravado.
With family, it’s different. Your 4-year old, 6-year-old, 18-year-old… whatever age they are… will understand it and absorb it. So begin gently sharing how you dropped off a meal for a single mom; donated clothes to the neighbor down the street; or quietly funded a scholarship. All of these actions make a difference. If your child sees this is the norm, he, she, they, or we will do it too.
2. Come Up With Your Family Values
Have a dialogue at the family table about what’s important to your family. Is it love? Truth? Doing the right thing, being selfless, slowing down, listening, helping others…? You can decide as a family and make sure that you have that up on an inspirational white board, bulletin board, or chalk board that you can point to. You can read before you sit down for your meals. Have a vision for the type of family you want to be, serving with the world and your local community.
Next, come up with your values. You don’t need more than three. They might be Grace, telling the truth, and loving kindness. You can always change them but it’s important to start living and practicing them. You can then talk about it at the table. What did you do today to really live these values?
Is this philanthropy? You bet it is. The definition of philanthropy by Merriam-Webster is
“goodwill to fellow members of the human race”
which also means loving people. Loving people is the purest form of philanthropy. It’s from the Latin philanthropia, which is defined by loving people:
Phil (Love) + Anthrōpos (human being).
Thanks for staying with me on giving together and philanthropy. Stay tuned tomorrow to learn more about love and giving!
Fig. 1: Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash
Fig. 2: Photo by Gustavo Alves on Unsplash
Fig. 3: Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash
Fig. 4: Photo by Ty Williams on Unsplash
Fig. 5: Flyer created on Canva