"Giving" is about radical generosity, which is something everyone has to offer... here are 5 ways to give on GivingTuesday
I hope you're having a wonderful, happy, and prosperous season.
This month, I took a solo road trip across the country from Reno (home) to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. It was a wonderful adventure and I feel so lucky to see this breathtakingly beautiful country and meet so many people who were generous enough to share smiles and conversations, kindnesses and challenges.
After experiencing such generosity of spirit, it's clear to me that "giving" is so much more than a transfer of goods or money.
For example, when I was struggling to back into a campsite in the dark after a long day of driving, a man left the warmth of his own campfire to offer help to back my squirrly little trailer into my campsite. What a gift!
And when I expressed shame that I didn't feel up to the task, he kindly said that he had two people helping and he was doing it in the daytime, and that's the only reason he did it in one shot. This may not be obvious generosity, but his kindness of addressing and correcting my self-admitted shame relieved me of the story I was telling myself about my own inability. This gave me the gift of improved confidence, which is a profound gift indeed.
💡5 things you can give on GivingTuesday:
❶ Give one person insight into your life
What are you excited about?
What are you secretly hoping someone will ask you?
What does your dog look like with eyebrows drawn on with eyeliner pencil?
I don't mean sharing this on social media.
I mean reaching out to a friend or family member personally to tell them you saw a cool tree today, talking with a grocery store clerk about your weekend plans, showing your dog's photo to the person next to you in line, and making a real, genuine connection based on something YOU personally experience.
❷ Ask someone about themselves
Make a real personal connection.
Ask someone what their dog's name is (sensing a theme? I do love dogs!), ask someone what they're looking forward to, ask someone where they're from and what their favorite thing is about their town.
Ideally, this is a stranger.
I was BLOWN AWAY by how cool people are when I was on my trip. We each tell ourselves stories about other people... but the best people to share their stories are the people themselves. Everyone wants to be seen. Really SEE someone today.
❸ Give someone credit
No, I don't mean opening credit accounts for other people... That's fraud!
I mean if someone did something that made you happy or helped you out, tell them. Not just, "hey, thanks!" but really getting specific about that person's impact on your life.
For example, at our home, Russ and I have a whiteboard near the garage. On it, I write a long list of things that Russ does that make my life better... everything from "Thank you for believing in me when the world is scary and I feel small," to "Thank you for going along with my crazy diets." The more specific, the better.
❹ Tell a bad joke... a REALLY bad joke
Not an offensive joke intended to irritate someone else, but, like a really awful dad joke... The kind that people have to force themselves not to laugh at.
If you need inspiration, check out Logan Lisle: https://www.youtube.com/@DockTok
❺ Give your experience and wisdom
We each have skills we've picked up over the years. For example...
🤝 The stranger at the campsite had experience backing up a trailer that I needed (and learned from).
🤝 I've shared hard-learned business lessons and strategies with several maker communities I'm a part of (like "it only takes a few clicks to set up a subscription product, but once people subscribe, you can almost never change it again... so don't take these actions lightly" or "don't make changes to checkout on Cyber Monday").
🤝 My friend Stacia shares wholesale strategies with me so we can bring Outlaw to more people and places.
YOU have learned things that work and don't work, and there are people who could benefit from your experience.
Side note about experience and wisdom - I heard a really cool reflection on the difference between opinion and experience the other day: "Opinion" is a theoretical perspective based on fears, hopes, anxieties, etc. That's not nearly as helpful as "experience," which is a recounting of an action you took and a result you observed (for better or for worse).
Generosity Everywhere You Are
People I knew from online (through Outlaw, but we've become friends over the years) drove a couple hours to visit me in Nashville. Generosity of time, sharing of stories, getting to know each other as friends (not just the Instagram highlights)... The generosity of being our authentic selves and sharing real conversations about real frustrations (we all have 'em, and they rarely make "good" social media posts) is giving the gift of ourselves.
Wherever we are, whoever we're talking to, we can choose to be generous just by being ourselves.