Saturday, November 6, 2010


"…We have two hands. One is for helping ourselves and the other is for helping others."
                                                                             - Audrey Hepburn, Actress and UNICEF Ambassador

Generosity is giving freely without expecting anything in return. As the quote above states, we have two hands and we should give as much as we get. Most of us don’t have a problem helping ourselves. We have learned to take care of ourselves and our responsibilities. Often, the difficult part is finding time to help others.

Putting change from a purchase at the store into the plastic bin for whatever charity or person is on the label, writing a check to a charity, putting a few dollars in the Salvation Army Christmas pot while Santa rings his bell – those are the easy things and make us feel better about ourselves. But what of generosity of spirit? This requires a little more effort.

Take a couple of hours this holiday season to truly give…

• Knit or crochet some warm scarves or hats and donate them to a local homeless shelter.  You just sit around in the evening watching television anyway, why not keep your hands busy?

• Bring your child or a friend to a soup kitchen to serve a meal or two. (Always involve your children when you can.)  Childre learn what they live.

• Find a family whose Christmas might be incomplete and give them an anonymous gift certificate for a full meal from a grocery store or for a toy store or a clothing store (but don’t disappoint a child with only clothes!). Taping an envelope to a door, knocking loudly and running is more fun than licking an envelope and sticking a check in the mail!

Take notice of how you feel afterwards. Your heart will be beating fast and the smile on your face will be difficult to erase.

This is true generosity and it requires two hands to accomplish but you will want to hold onto the feeling you get inside with both hands, too. Your spirit will be filled with joy and you will look forward to doing it again and again.