As Giving Tuesday arrives tomorrow, it seems to be in stark contrast to all other messages being sent our way about sales and holiday giving. First its Black Friday, next its Small Store Saturday and today is Cyber Monday. While the names are catchy, what is the meaning and the purpose?
In 2012, the Giving Tuesday movement began to create a national day of giving to support favorite non-profit organizations. Initially there were 2,500 partners and today in just three years it has grown to over 30,000 organizations in over 70 countries.
Giving comes in other forms besides money, it can be the gift of time or resources. So think about what organizations you care about and ask yourself the real question. How can I give tomorrow?
Since Thanksgiving is tomorrow and there is much to be done, I looked back to my past post for inspiration and came across this. While not a fan of reposting, this is more than worth take two and will give you the spirit of gratitude as you begin to prepare for the holiday.
There are so many amazing causes that we all support and get involved with, especially as we are feeling thankful. With 1.9 million non-profits in this country it is rare that Charity Matters ventures abroad, with so much to be done here. However, as we begin this week of Thanksgiving, I think this story is a beautiful way to begin our own personal journey of gratitude.
Narayanan Krishnan is a hero and I am in awe of his compassion, selflessness and grateful for his amazing inspiration. He is a living reminder that Thanksgiving is a word of action.
As Thanksgiving week begins, there is much to be thankful for this year. My sons are heading home from school mid-week, the house will be full of noise, chaos, friends and all that fills me up. There is simply nothing better than a noisy full house that is alive.
This year just as our house begins to fill in one area we will begin emptying in others. A process that for many, is cathartic, renewing and invigorating but for me has been difficult. My husband can rifle through a drawer never notice the saved birthday card, the tiny memento and in a moment have it all in a box. Yes, he wins on efficiency…
However, for me each drawer uncovers a memory, a moment, a special something and I find myself looking backwards at our life and all it has been. Where has it gone? How are our sons in college?Remembering how we were and filled with nostalgia.
I am reminded by many, that this is a process that most go through at some stage of life and I find myself wondering if it easy for everyone or this difficult? I know being sentimental does not and will not lend itself to our new mid-century zen home and that,”stuff” and memories are not the same. Yet, each item triggers another memory, another moment and a place in time that brings smiles and tears.
So, as the house fills with the noise and the chaos of the week, I am full of gratitude. We have been blessed with 3 amazing healthy sons, a life full of family, friends, fun and memories and a home that has anchored much of it. As the tears, roll down my cheeks and the house fills with noise I know that this is what matters and I am blessed.
This week clarity is on my mind. Seeing clearly, what is important. As many of you know, our home is in escrow and we are beginning the process of clearing out. What initially seemed to me like a simple closet cleaning has become so much more. It is the editing our story, tossing out a piece of our past to make way for our future.
Each item tells a story, has a history or a moment in time that is no longer relevant. The process of clearing out and decluttering becomes about more than the item but by the space found by its absence. It becomes about clearing out not just closets but oneself and a clarity of what is truly important.
Taking inventory of what matters and what must stay. The reality is that the life time of collecting things, one realizes how little they mean. The possibility of an open white canvas, our new modern home and simplified life style is more than stuff. It is a fresh start, a new beginning, a time to reprioritize.
Before the new chapter can begin, the letting go, clearing process and closing of this chapter must start. If there is one thing I know, it is there is no clarity in clutter and not an ending without a new beginning.
“Il est seulement avec la coeur que l’on ne voit bien ce qui est essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.”
Le petit Prince
What a difference a few hours can make. Last friday I shared the quote from The Little Prince, “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly;what is essential is invisible to the eye.” Within hours of that post, terrorist attacked innocent people in Paris, taking lives, destroying families, and spreading fear and evil in their path. In just a moment everything changed.
Our world shrunk, we came together on Facebook, Instagram, as communities, countries and as a tiny globe in support of one another in a time of uncertainty. It is in these moments, that those words of Antoine de Saint – Exupery ring true decades after they were written.
In this time of horrible loss, we begin to see clearly what truly matters…love, family, freedom. It is my hope that out of such pain will come a clarity to us all that,” It is only with the heart that one can see rightly;what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly;what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
The Little Prince
This past week I was asked to speak to a group at my alma mater, USC about philanthropy, which as you all know is a vast topic. When pondering what specific message I wanted to convey to these young students I decided on the topic of finding your path.
We all start life lost and unsure where it will take us and where we are going, much like the book The Little Prince. His journey was about being lost, lonely, friendships, love and loss. What we so often lose sight of, is what is truly important is not material or seen.
Our journey in giving is no different from our journey in life. Until you know what gifts you have and what speaks to you, it is very hard to find your way. The path only becomes clear once you realize that your challenges become your greatest lessons and gifts. The road signs from those lessons show you the way.
The hope is that if we learn from our roadblocks, we will continue to grow, thrive and explore new and exciting paths. As I told the students, “Giving, service and charity have healed me in unexpected and unimaginable ways. And while my journey continues, It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
Today, we celebrate Veterans Day. We honor, remember and salute all of those who have shown us what real service is. I talk about service every week and don’t get me wrong, volunteering is important, but to serve, to give your life, your time and complete commitment to ensuring your country’s freedom…well that is service at an entirely different level.
So today, we salute you, our veterans….thank you for showing us all what real service is.
God bless America and all our servicemen and women.
This week is the beginning of Movember. No, this isn’t a typo but rather a movement. I was reminded last week, when my second son asked me to sponsor his fraternity’s fundraiser in support of the cause. You may recall that last November there seemed to be an unusual amount of facial hair and beards. Those beards and unshaven faces were not by accident, but rather a statement for men’s health.
A statement that all began in 2003, when two mates in a bar ( Travis Garone and Luke Slattery) were having a simple conversation about whatever happened to the moustache or the Mo, as they called it, and a joke about bringing it back. These buddies from Melbourne, Australia decided to talk their friends into growing a Mo for a purpose. They were inspired by a friend’s mom who was raising funds for breast cancer and decided to direct their efforts towards men’s health and prostate cancer. They sent an email titled Are you man enough to be my man? The result was 30 guys willing to take up the challenge and pay ten dollars each, towards their cause and the beginning of Movember.
Their goal started small but never wavered. These four friends wanted to recruit men who would support Movember, who by the way are called MoBros. The Mo Bros, would begin by registering at Movember.Com and start Movember 1st clean-shaven, then grow and groom their Mo, for the rest of the month, raising money along the way. In addition, these men become walking, talking billboards for their cause. Not to exclude the girls, they also started Mo Sistas, who champion their Mo by registering and supporting the Mo Bros in their life.
What started as a fun bar conversation in 2003 and 30 MoBros in Melbourne, Australia has morphed into over 4 million participants globally, who have raised more than $649 million to date. Movember, is more than a month, but rather through the power of the moustache, it has truly become a global movement that is changing the face of men’s health.
I have had friends tell me over the years that I often see things that they do not. Perhaps, my filters are adjusted a certain way. Sometimes, I wonder am I the only one who is watching this? We all live in a busy world and so often, we are too busy to see the beauty right in front of us.
Last week, I was in a huge hurry trying to make a grant deadline and rushing to Kinkos to pick up my order. Traffic prevented me from turning into the Kinkos driveway, so I was parked just waiting and watching and what I saw brought me to tears.
Standing almost in front of me was an elderly homeless women, with no shoes, white hair and her face was literally black with grime and dirt. She was not begging but simply standing there. Her physical condition took my breath away. As I waited in traffic wondering what to do, I saw an elderly gentleman in his mid-seventies hop out of his car, leaving it running in the parking lot and ever so kindly, sweetly and thoughtfully approach the woman. He bowed his head, in respect of greeting her, and handed her what appeared to be everything he had in his wallet.
Tears began pouring from my eyes, at the most beautiful sight of her surprise and her smile. I looked at the elderly man as the tears streamed down my face and he gave a small nod and quickly got into his running car and drove off. The honking horns jarred me into reality of what I had just witnessed. The respect, compassion, grace, dignity and the sheer beauty of the moment, was one I will never forget.
The stress of the day gone, replaced with hope, compassion and belief that the world is full of goodness. We just simply have to look for it.