Each Friday, the another jennifer blog shares stories of those who incorporate philanthropy into their everyday lives – personally and professionally – in a creative and unique way. If you have a story you’d like to share, please contact Jennifer.
This post was originally written as a guest post for SkinnyScoop last June. I dug it up because I thought it was a nice reminder that we can resolve to give every single day in 2013.
I’m kind of obsessed with philanthropy. It’s been a topic that I’ve explored on this blog quite a bit.
I’m intrigued by the whole concept of philanthropy. What it means. How we define it. How we can incorporate it into our everyday lives.
I guess the obsession goes back to my work in the nonprofit world. I’ve worked in fundraising departments and run marketing communications efforts for behavioral health agencies since 2004. I still do on a consulting basis. In the process, I’ve seen first hand the power of philanthropy.
Let me be clear here. I’m not necessarily talking about donating money. Giving money is good, of course, but there’s more to this philanthropy thing. You know that feeling you get when you help someone?
Have you ever had someone tell you that something you did, though very small to you, actually made a huge positive impact on her life?
Whether it’s planned or not, it feels good to give. In fact, some studies have shown that it’s actually good for our health because it contributes to our overall well-being.
According to Martin Seligman, a positive psychologist, there are three paths to happiness – the pleasant life, the good life and the meaningful life. It turns out that the “meaningful life,” which involves using our strengths to serve something larger than us, brings us the most happiness. And studies have shown that doing good for others actually makes us feel happiest of all.
The problem is that we sometimes forget to give. We get caught up in our busy lives and stop paying attention to those around us. Been there. Done that.
Imagine the impact we could make if we all did just one simple good deed every day. Nothing big. Just a simple good deed that might inspire others to pay it forward with another good deed.
See where I’m going here?
If you need some inspiration, I started a list of some simple ways to incorporate philanthropy into your life. Microphilanthropy, if you will. I hope you will add to it, so we can reference it year round.
December shouldn’t be the only season for giving.