It’s the most wonderful time of year for giving! The lights are strung, the weather is chilly, and our hearts are filled with the warmth of showing love to those around us. If there’s any season that we’re reminded to look beyond ourselves and into the hearts of others, it’s during the holidays. As you check items of your Christmas gift list and prepare your menu for family gatherings, don’t forget to practice everyday philanthropy during this season of giving.
What is Everyday Philanthropy?
Let’s start with the meaning of philanthropy. Simply put, it is the desire to promote the welfare of others. Typically, we see this expressed through donations of money to special charities and causes. It can also be displayed through good deeds and compassionate acts toward society. Now, everyday philanthropy means that we live a lifestyle with this type of mindset. Of course, most people don’t have the means to donate money every single day, and that’s OK! Being an everyday philanthropist is in the details. It’s in the compassion you show the stranger at the grocery store or the favor you do for the friend in need. Everyday philanthropy is a love for mankind, and a way of life.
How to Become an Everyday Philanthropist.
A mindset of love: It’s easy to make a well-intentioned goal. Sure, anyone can say that they want to show love and kindness to mankind every day. It’s easier to accomplish an outward goal when our inner thoughts are aligned. The first step to begin a lifestyle of everyday philanthropy is to focus on the good in others. Understand that even if someone isn’t reciprocating kindness, that doesn’t mean our minds should shift to the negative. Remember, that person might be walking through hardship. A mindset of philanthropy is a mindset of love; unconditional love. Each day, choose to focus on the good. Focus on the difference your small actions can make in someone’s life. Remember that even if you don’t see the fruit of your love, it doesn’t mean it didn’t serve a purpose.
Small acts lead to big change: Each day, we can make it our mission to be a soft place for others. We can be the one to give a friendly smile when they’re undergoing stress. We can give words of thanks when they feel unappreciated. We can do a simple favor when they feel invisible. These small everyday acts have the power to change hearts and transform lives. So go ahead. Give it a try, and share a smile with an exhausted employee at the post office or write thoughtful holiday cards to those in your everyday life like your mail carrier, lawn company, handyman or grocery clerk. You never know the impact it might have on them.
Weave acts of love into your routine: Showing love for the people in our lives, communities and in the world is more significant than we’ll ever know. There are countless ways to do small deeds, but there are also ways to bring love into our daily routines. We can do this by scheduling volunteering into our weekends. Places like nursing homes, animal shelters and children’s homes are likely to have needs for volunteers. Perhaps you have an hour or two you can spare a week to sign up to help. There are also ways to give back by donating items to those in need. Maybe each month you can clean out a different space in your home and donate the excess to a shelter. There are many ways to schedule philanthropic events into your schedule.
During the season of giving, you just might find that practicing everyday philanthropy is simpler than you think! Around each corner you could find an opportunity to give back, every day. Learn more about making big things happen by doing small things each day. Changing the world happens with a small step each day. These small steps turn into large strides. Just watch and see what happens!