I Choose # Free Giving
Without question, we are full swing in to the holiday season for 2022. In this post-Thanksgiving time we have already experienced Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. Equally, if not more important, we also had another Giving Tuesday.
I'm writing this with a little trepidation, because I believe that the country having a day set aside to concentrate on giving to others and serving community needs is an excellent event for all to participate. That being said, there is one element of the day I can't get behind. This thing: #
Here's a quote from the GivingTuesday.org website:
There are so many different ways to show generosity on Giving Tuesday.
So far so good, right? It's the next statement that I pushback on:
Be sure to share how you're giving with the hashtag #GivingTuesday and inspire others!
Let's stop a minute here. Let me again say that having a day set aside to encourage giving and contributing is wonderful. Telling everyone what we did, not so much.
In reviewing the book Give and Take by Adam Grant, Dan Tamasulo summarizes that Grant states that
"there are three types of people: givers, takers, and matchers, The Givers: The best givers give in ways that are thoughtful and courteous and they aren’t worried about receiving something in return from whoever they’re giving to. When they give, they believe karma will come back around for them, through other means. The Matchers: Matchers give and expect immediate reciprocity. They want to see results shortly after their time of giving. The Takers: This name is very telling of these types of people. Consider the people that take and take and take until they’re satisfied—that’s all you need to know about a taker."
This might be hyper critical, but something in me says that when we make a contribution and then immediately jump on social media to #lookwhatIdid that seems like being more of a Matcher than a Giver, seeking that instant gratification.
This is not to say that we can not promote things like Giving Tuesday when we are interacting on social media, in fact I think we should. But to me it should be more along the lines of “Hey, it's #GivingTuesday! There's all kinds of opportunity to help!” Or “It's GivingTuesday! I'll bet there are organizations in your community that would let you pitch in today” But when it comes to what we do when we are contributing I really believe that is best left to be private.
Contributor Alana on Medium.com posted a gem of an article “5 Ways To Give and Expect Nothing In Return.” Two of her 5 recommendations really resonated with me one being
"give because you believe in abundance."
I love this, because we live in an age where the media is screaming at us that we are in a world of scarcity, but I don't subscribe to that. The other recommendation that hit home with me was
“give to people who don't deserve it.”
No, it's not an invitation to send Bill Gates or your favorite billionaire a gift, it's encouragement to gift someone who has rubbed us the wrong way, and we are hesitant to have any kind of relationship with them. When I read this, in the back of my mind I could here a voice saying “love your enemies.” Alana concludes her post with these sage words,
“So keep giving and do it often, knowing that the joy inside is more than enough. Needing nothing in return is a powerful place to be!”
I heartily concur. My desire is that #GivingTuesday will be a rousing success for decades and decades to come. I hope that we will open our hearts and contribute as I believe most humankind is inclined to do. In fact I hope we get to a point where it will be #GivingEveryday. But as far as chest thumping and showing off what we do while we contribute I think it is more often than not better to be #betweenmeandtheuniverse.