I was listening to the radio today and the host said that if he won $100,000 he would give most of it away because some people didn't even have enough money to turn on the heat. He talked about giving to others who had less than he did. That led to an awkward moment when his co-host said he would probably buy a Corvette with the money.
What would you do with the money? And what could you create in the world with what you already have?
Since today is Thanksgiving in the USA and many of my friends are giving thanks, it made me reflect on the joys of giving and whether or not giving something of mine to someone else was the best way to express gratitude and create change. I realized that I didn't need to win a large sum of money to give something valuable right now. And I realized that I did not have to leave myself short or overworked or overwhelmed to give something now.
If I win money (to use the example that spurred these thoughts) and I give it to someone else who has less than I do, then I am not really creating MORE with the money, I am just transferring it from one person to another. I do have heat, so while I am sure the person who could now turn on their heat too would appreciate it, I realized there was so much more that could be accomplished with what I'd like to call 'generative giving'.
Does giving money to someone create more in the world or does it just move the money from one place to another? What would create more?
I spent a bit of time researching the answer because I wondered if there were places creating big changes that could benefit from my giving and expand and exponentialize it instead of just allowing money to go from one set of hands to another with no real or lasting change being created.
For example in London England they are using the body heat that is trapped in subways to heat 500 homes as part of the CELSIUS Project. Imagine how much change we could create with many people donating small amounts of money to companies that were developing the technologies needed to harvest free sources of heat and electricity?
I also found a project on Kickstarter called "Rocket Mass Stoves" that shows you how to make your own stove for $3 and then heat your home for 1/10th the price of natural gas and 1/10th the CO2 emissions. Donations began at $1 and over $100,000 was raised so that professional DVDs could be created to share this information more easily with more people.
Can you see how we can use a little bit of money to help create something that makes life better and healthier or more affordable for everyone?
What if you do not have a dollar to help fund a campaign? Do you know what else grows exponentially with little effort and time? Kindness. With every word we speak and with every action we take and every bit of information we post online we have the opportunity to spread more kindness in the world. We also can take away some kindness by adding to the fear, the anger or the judgement that is so easily given. In giving your opinion, are you adding kindness or taking away from the kindness?
What are you giving to the world today? Would you be willing to tune into what you are creating and to see the butterfly effect of your thoughts, words, actions and your giving?
It doesn't take much, and it doesn't even take money, but it does take some awareness to make a new choice and to give in a new way. Will you choose it today?