Imagine for a moment, it’s raining. Your kiddo forgot their lunchbox. You’re running late to a meeting. There isn’t a parking spot near your building and you don’t have an umbrella. You open your car door to start the wet trek and a total stranger offers you a hand and their extra umbrella. Your morning was instantly made better by the kindness of a complete stranger. Sometimes, it’s the littlest gestures that make the biggest difference.
What is Generosity Day? When is it? What does it mean? What do I really have to do? How much do I have to give?
Generosity Day has no rules. Well, okay one rule. Do something nice for someone else on February 14, 2012. After that, it’s all up to you. Make it easy. Make it heartfelt. Most importantly, make it something.
Generosity Day can be free. Smile at someone who looks like they’re having a rough day. Say hello. Trade the e-mail for a real face to face conversation. Put your dish in the dishwasher. Hug your kids one more time before they walk out the door. Call a friend you haven’t spoken to in a long time. Say you’re sorry. Go read to a group of kids that need it. Give that pile of clothes that you won’t wear to a charity who could use them. Offer to take bath duty for the kids. Get the coffee ready the night before. Cut your neighbor’s grass. Go visit an elderly neighbor. Help someone out to their car. Make dinner. Offer to make copies for your colleague at work. Offer to pick up the kids from school. If you’ve got a few extra bucks, buy coffee for the person behind you in the drive-through. Order an extra sandwich for the homeless guy you walk past everyday. Make a donation to your favorite charity. Give your time at your local food pantry.
The beauty of the day is that you get to decide. Whatever you’re comfortable with. Whatever you can do. Just do it.
I think we could all agree that watching just 10 minutes of local or national news can be terribly sad. You would think nothing good is happening in our world right now and I’m sure for some people it feels that way. I just finished reading Walk Out Walk On by Margaret Wheatley and Deborah Frieze. A theme throughout the book is “start anywhere, follow it everywhere.” Let’s all start with one act of kindness on February 14, 2012. Who knows where it will lead?
What does Generosity Day mean to me? It means hope. It means for one day out of the year hope that we can all do one, just one, nice thing for someone else. Hope that your goodwill and attitude will pour over to February 15th and to the 16th and so on. It’s up to each of us to make our world a better place.
Stop waiting for something good to happen to you and start making good happen.
If Generosity Day speaks to you, if you want to pledge to do something on February 14, 2012, if you are interested in helping spread the word in St. Louis, let me know. Leave me a comment or contact me via twitter @jamidix. Let’s use the hashtag #generositydaySTL.