15 Minutes

Financial, Relationship and Spiritual Growth. Personal Development. Leadership.


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Able is Useless Without Available

outLast week I put forward the idea of creating a culture of serving and giving. I then proposed some obstacles that might preventĀ  the acts of giving and serving.

The fear of your act of goodwill not being reciprocated. Also, the fear of not being able to reciprocate the deed yourself.

This started a discussion with a few comments over on my LinkedIn page, and I had another idea of what prevents people from giving.

Busy.

If you’re not busy, you’re not American. As of 2009, the average American works more hours per week than the average worker in Japan. We are obsessed with the business of busy-ness.

And it’s not just our jobs consuming so much of our lives these days. Generation X parents have their kids overloaded with activities from sports to gymnastics to violin lessons to karate. Generation Y is being smothered with their parents ambitious social schedules for them. It seems that kids rarely have time to be kids anymore as they are rushed from planned activity to planned activity.

Non-kids also tend to load their lives with activities. It used to be sports leagues and clubs. Then hobbies and television. Today it’s Call of Duty and World of Warcraft.

How does constantly being busy affect our generous and giving spirits?

  • Would you stop to help a motorist with a flat tire if you have just enough time to get to work without being late?
  • Would you stop to give directions to a pedestrian when you are already late for class?
  • Would you stop to give advice to an emotionally wounded adolescent crushed by their first heartbreak when your WOW raid starts in fifteen minutes?

If you answered “no” to any of these, then here’s a question for you: Is being busy a legitimate reason to avoid doing good?

“The enemy of all sorts of goodness and generosity and giving, is not greed. It is busy.” (Tweet this, it’s profound)

This is another enemy that my friends and I are looking to defeat when we launch our non-profit soon. To create a culture of giving and serving, one of the beasts that we are looking to defeat is busy.

I’ve heard many pastors and speakers say “God doesn’t always use the most able, but the most available.” What are your thoughts?

helpHow do we snap people out of their busy? How do we get people to disrupt their routines and habits and daily running on the hamster wheel, in order to be just a bit more mindful of others? To take time to notice when someone is in need? To take time to help, to give, to serve?

Please take a moment to share your ideas. If you have no ideas please share this blog post with others for their ideas.


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Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is

ImageGenerosity is viewed as altruistic. It is one of those qualities in a person that is almost always universally admired. Even those corporate bigwigs that the masses love pointing fingers at for causing all the problems in the world; it’s hard to stay angry at them when they build a hospital from scratch or give their cab driver a fifty. Generosity creates goodwill.

Generosity is also healthy for the soul. English statesman Winston Churchill said “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” Countryless everyman Anonymous said “Remember when you leave this earth, you can take with you nothing that you have received, only what you have given.”

Generosity is just as rewarding for the giver as it is for the receiver.

Now consider a universal law called the Law of Reciprocity. This law states that whatever you give out you get back. If you’re a jerk, no matter how well you think you hide it, people treat you like you’re a jerk. Which in turn causes you to say, “That person is a jerk!” which perpetuates a jerk vortex that is centered around you. Jerk.

If you smile a great deal, more people smile back at you. If you spend time with your children they will want to spend time with you.

Simple, right?

Now pretend I used some kind of smooth transition to bind these two ideas together.

  • If what you give out is what you get back, and
  • If generosity is equally rewarding to the giver and to the receiver, then
  • If you are struggling financially give more money away. (This is not an April Fool’s joke)

I advise everyone to give away 10% of their income to charity.

“But I earn so little!” Great, you’ll have to give less.

“But I don’t have an extra 10% to give away!” Give it away first, then figure out how to live off the rest.

“But I’m in debt!” That was dumb. I might let you off the hook and allow you to give 10% of your net, but then you are saying that the bank is a more important priority to you than that charity. Which makes you kind of evil, right?

Giving away money is good for society. No matter how poor you think you are, there is always somebody that is poorer. Even people living in poverty in this country have paved driveways, a car, iPhones, cable television and internet. The “poor” in the U.S. are richer than 50% of the people in the world.

Giving money away is good for you as an individual. It’s therapeutic. Give to a cause or a group that you believe in and feel good about giving.

Giving away money will assist you financially. It’s the law of reciprocity in effect. The sooner you give, the sooner the universe will reward you back.

If you don’t buy into that new-age-karma-speak, then try this reason:

Psychologically, giving money away helps you to get out of a scarcity mentality. If you constantly feel like you need every single penny that your boss reluctantly hands over to you, you become enslaved to that pattern of thinking. You need this job, this job is all-important, you must do whatever you can to hold on to this job. Sadly, those people will take a 10% cut in salary during the next economic downturn and say how lucky they are that they even kept their job.

Giving money away helps you to have an abundance mentality.

If you are struggling financially, try giving some money to charity. Hey, since you’re already struggling, you’re obviously not doing anything great with it, so you may as well let someone else have a shot with it.