There was a man taking a morning walk at the beach, He saw that along with the morning tide came hundreds of starfish and when the tide receded, they were left behind and with the morning sun rays, they would die. The tide was fresh and the starfish were alive. The man took a few steps, picked one and threw it into the water. He did that repeatedly. Right behind him there was another person who couldn’t understand what this man was doing. He caught up with him and asked, What are you doing? There are hundreds of starfish. How many can you help? What difference does it make? This man did not reply, took two more steps, picked up another one, threw it into the water, and said, It makes a difference to this one, What difference are we making? Big or small, it does not matter. If everyone made a small difference, we’d end up with a big difference, wouldn’t we?
Harmony makes small things grow, lack of it makes great things decay. While it may seem small, the ripple effects of small things is extraordinary. Small things amuse small minds. Small things sometimes mean a whole lot! If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way and here is the things to consider
- Consider the benefits of generosity. Generous people report being happier, healthier, and more satisfied with life than those who don’t give. Generosity produces within us a sense that we are capable of making a difference in the world, that we are actively addressing the needs of those around us, and that we are shaping our community into a healthier one. While generosity is typically seen as the opposite of self-serving, counting the personal benefits is indeed one of the most important steps that we can take in getting started.
- Gratitude. Make a list of the things in your life for which you are grateful. Your list doesn’t have to be long. It won’t take much time. Heck, it doesn’t even have to be a physical list (in your head will be completely sufficient). Sometimes, the most important step you can take to become more generous is to spend more time thinking about what you already possess and less time thinking about what you don’t. Once you start intentionally thinking that way, you may be surprised just how good you already have it… and become more apt to share your life with others.
- Start small. If you’ve never given away money, start by giving away $1. If you are embarrassed to give just $1 or whatever currency, don’t be. You’ve got nothing to worry about: there are plenty of charities online that allow you to give with your credit card and you’ll never cross paths with the people who record your $1 donation. Of course, the point of this exercise is not to report a $1 tax deduction on your year-end tax return. The point is to get started. If you’ll feel more comfortable giving more, start there. But no matter what dollar amount you choose, jump right in with something small. You can afford it, and that little push can help build momentum in your life towards generosity.
- Save a Life ~ If someone’s in need and you answer the call, that simple act can change everything. Sometimes, the little things we do can save or change the lives of others. Make the world a better place by saving those within it. This is the greatest thing you can do with all your talents, money, and time.
- Be a harmony creator ~ Harmony makes small things grow, lack of it makes great things decay. While it may seem small, the ripple effects of small things is extraordinary. Small things amuse small minds. Small things sometimes mean a whole lot! If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.
- Fund a cause based on your passions. There are countless charities/causes that need your support. And some of them are directly in-line with your most compelling passions. What are your most passionate about? Is it the environment, poverty, or religion? Maybe it’s world peace, child nutrition, or animal rights? What about education, civil rights, or clean water? Identify what passions already move you, find a committed organization around that cause, and then joyfully help them in their work
- Find a person you believe in. If you find that you are more easily motivated and shaped by the people in your life rather than organizations/causes, use that tendency as motivation instead. Take careful notice of the people in your life that you most admire. What organizations/causes do they hold most dear? Who do they support? What makes them passionate about supporting it? And how can you get involved alongside them?
- Spend time with people in need. One of the most effective antidotes for non-generosity is to make space in your life for those who actually need your help. After all, it is a very small step to go from knowing somebody in need to helping somebody in need. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is to volunteer one meal at your local homeless shelter. Most homeless shelters readily accept volunteers and have systems in place to get you started. And rubbing shoulders with the poor just may change your impression of them forever.
- Spend time with a generous person. One of the most life-changing conversations I’ve ever had about generosity occurred when I found the courage to start asking specific questions of the right person. I remember starting with, “Have you always been generous?” And immediately followed with more: “When did you become so generous? How did it start? How do you decide where your money goes? What advice would you give someone who wants to get started?” It was life-changing. And the other guy paid for the meal… go figure.
- Live a more minimalist life. Intentionally decide to own less. Oh sure, living a minimalist life won’t automatically make you a more generous person, but it will provide the space necessary to make it possible. You’ll spend less money on things at the department store. You’ll have more time/energy to help others. And the intentionality that emerges in your life will help you discover the need for generosity. Minimalism has resulted in many positive changes in my life – becoming more generous has been one of the most important.
Generosity rarely happens by chance. Instead, it is an intentional decision that we make in our lives. But it does not need to be as difficult as many people think. Sometimes, starting with the simple steps is the best step that we can take. Whoever wants to reach a distant goal must take small steps. – Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing. – It’s the little details that are vital. Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out.