Oh. My. Gosh. I haven’t had so many visitors here – EVER! How exciting. If I had more time on my hands I’d do a dusting for typos just to “straighten up for company”. Welcome everyone!
Yesterday at work, I had a flash of anger–a momentary and insane response to a selfish client–and if you caught my blog for the right 10 minute window you would have seen my shortest, shortest-lived post ever. The Silent Scream. Yet another advantage to blogging.
But today is a new day. I can’t resist announcing: I’m really surprised by how competitive I’m feeling about this charity thing. I’m so grateful that The Holidailies Crew added me to the highlight list yesterday. Thanks, guys! What a treat! I enjoyed the feeling for 10 minutes or so (okay, I’m still enjoying it) but as I read others’ posts (either ideas for charities or general protests to the whole concept) an increasing urge to sell my Big Brothers Big Sisters idea started clouding over.
There’s a big part of me that says, Let it be. A great charity will be chosen, no matter what. This is a win-win for all. Besides, $2000? Pocket Change!
Yeah, that part of me bullshits quite a bit. I mean, I don’t have $2000!
And then there’s a smaller part of me (the over-worked, under-rested, Still Kvetching-self) that says, If mentoring isn’t about literacy, I don’t know what is. She says some other things, too, but I’ll spare you.
It will be far more fruitful to share this —
Over the years, I’ve had some involvement in a TRULY wonderful event called Angel Store. For a couple seasons, I was one of the organizers. I had the misfortune (I mean, growing experience) of having to tell some people that we could not include their recommended charitable organizations. I imagine they must have felt like I will feel if Big Brothers Big Sisters does not get chosen for Holidailies. Of course, they got over it, and so will I. But the children will suffer! (Just kidding). But they will! (Really joking.)
Some day I’ll have to write a whole post on what my Angel Store experience taught me, but there’s one notion I want to wrap up with today. My mentor in that endeavor (yes, I have a mentor, too) asked me during the whole Angel operation not to use the word volunteer. Instead we encouraged people to “participate”. Why? Well, she’s such an eloquent person – I’ll never do her sentiment justice in my paraphrasing. But the gist of it was this: the word volunteer has the connotation of stepping in from the outside and doing something and then leaving. A volunteer is other-than in a situation. Participants are partners. This is how I want to approach my giving in life. And I intend to write about it often.
Literacy isn’t something we dole out with our $10 contributions. The “charity” that goes on is really what happens inside of us when we mail off the check, or type in our credit card numbers. We are the beneficiaries when we make the choice to donate. It’s like a giant paint scraper making a chip in our shiny varnished exteriors. I don’t want to overwork the metaphor – what I mean to say is that we are transformed when we give. We are transformed when we participate. We are transformed when we share moving stories with each other. Each time we lend ourselves to the greater good, we become a little different and a little better.
There’s that word lend again.