Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Giving Back

Whenever you go to Dunkin Donuts and see those little jars with the pictures of dying puppies on them, you probably say “aww” and pocket the change you receive for your two-dollar-and-fifty-cents Coolata. Giving back doesn’t mean saying “aww” and walking away. When you give back, you hand over something that is yours, whether it be time or treasure, to someone or something else who needs it more!

Try it out! Look around you for inspiration. Good deeds don’t always have to be a public affair. Something simple, like picking up a neighbor’s fallen trash can, is perfectly fine. Going through old stuffed animals and giving them away to a homeless shelter is even better. Anything will do!

If you were to tell me three years ago that I would be traveling around the country promoting a motivational presentation, I would have told you that you were crazy and recommend for you a number of hospitals that would help you with your problem… But now, I can’t imagine going through my day without knowing that I have made an effort to help someone in some way. It becomes a habit in no time!

A good way to start is by planning to do five small acts of charity per day. It really isn’t that hard! You could start by putting away the clean dishes in the dishwasher without being asked to. Later, you could give half of your ham and cheese sandwich to the kid whose mother packed him tuna surprise for lunch. Elementary, right? (My dear Watson?) (Okay, no more Sherlock jokes, I promise…for now…)

I don’t really like publicizing the things that I have done in the past, but maybe this example can give you a few ideas: For my sixteenth birthday, I had a “fairy tale storybook” theme. I had all my friends (including the guys) dress up as characters from their favorite fairy tale or nursery rhyme. And, instead of gifts, I asked everyone to bring a few books they used to read when they were little to be donated. It was really simple! I ended up with a pile of almost 200 books!

It was such an easy thing to do, and I’m sure it will make a huge difference.

So, get your charitable brain juices flowing! (Umm…okay, so that wasn’t the best image…) Take a few minutes every day to look around and see what good you can do in your world. It will definitely not hurt you in any way! And you can feel proud that you helped just a little bit to make the world a bit brighter than before. (With rainbows and unicorns and bunnies… just kidding. But, that would be pretty awesome!)

And remember: that fifty cents left over from your Coolata could go a long way in helping to save the lives of poor innocent puppies! Don’t wait! Save a doggie today!

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