On this final day before the Thanksgiving holiday, it seems appropriate to look at ways to give thanks by, well, giving. Buddha says, "Wise [wo]men appreciate and are grateful. Wise [wo]men try to express their appreciation and gratitude by some return of kindness, not only to their benefactor, but to everyone else."
Sort of a pay it forward approach to gratitude.
So, for your Thanksgiving pleasure, a few resources related to reflection on giving.
Julie Jensen, a great supporter of The Women’s Foundation, recommends Rambam’s Ladder: A Meditation on Generosity and Why it is Necessary to Give. "Salamon provides a thoughtful exploration of each one of Rambam’s steps, from the lowest kind of charity-giving (begrudgingly), to the highest form–the gift of self-reliance, so that the recipient, through a loan or a job, will not have to ask for help again," Julie says.
Caitlin Duignan, our stellar office temp, said that one of her favorite giving inspirations comes from Little Women. Caitlin writes, "I have always loved Little Women, not only for its progressive messages on women and society…but [also] I have always enjoyed how daily life in the March family revolves around giving back to the community, but also to one another and supporting one another through their dreams. The bond between the sisters and their parents, and even between the parents is such a driving force of the film, which can only imply that the success of this frugal and socially conscious family flows from their love for one another. Besides this social justice as motivated by love theme, I just think it’s a really heartwarming concept that shows whether you’re a writer, a mother, a teacher, or an artist – both your perspective on the world and your abilities within it help formulate your sense of responsibility to the world, which for the March family is to help make it a better one."
The Nonprofit Literature Blog has a post this week on selected resources related to giving circles and giving.
I, for one, have always been partial to Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree, with its touching approach to the complex nature–the costs and sacrifices, and joys and benefits–of giving.
Earlier this year, Tactical Philanthropy invited bloggers throughout the phlanthrosphere to recommend books on phuilanthropy and giving. The results are here. Among The Women’s Foundation staff’s recommendations were The Giving Family, The Prophet and Inspired Philanthropy: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Giving Plan.
The Giving Book: Open the Door to a Lifetime of Giving looks like a fun resource for young people to tap into their own power to change the world, and how they can best apply their strengths, interests and talents to contributing to meaningful social change.
There you go, now you’re all set for reading recommendations for that long flight, drive or boat ride (as applicable) home.
And, if you’re stuck on your blackberry waiting on a flight delay, be sure to leave us a comment with your favorite giving book recommendation.
After all, the holiday season is upon us, and there is still a lot of airport, driving and snowside reading to do!