You’ve heard it, a famous athlete or movie star talks about some cause or charity they support and they say something like, “this is a great cause and I’m proud to be able to give back”. We’re not “giving back”. What? Before you go crazy let me explain. We are “giving”. It is important to us and part of who we are. We “give” in lots of ways from charitable contributions, personal service, kindness to others, and an awareness of our environment.
What we don’t do is “give back”. This implies that we took something that didn’t belong to us and returned a portion to some cause or charity. Words mean things. We didn’t take something that didn’t belong to us, but we do have a responsibility as citizens to make our community a better place. There are lots of ways we do this.
At Artistry Hotels, we do this through contributions to organizations that enable people to help themselves. We do this through a program called “Stay. Change A Life.” We also do it by being aware of our footprint and using sustainable products, supporting local artisans and farmers, and striving to provide a great place to work. Personally, I do it through contributions to organizations in my community and to my church. I mentor, serve in ministry, and strive to focus on others.
In the scriptures, Jesus said in Luke 12:48(b), “Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.” Our charge is not to “give back”, but to give and to serve. The more we have, the more that is required. Here is the really cool part, being generous makes us happy. Scientist in Zurich just published a study that showed this. They said, “Our study provides behavioral and neural evidence that supports the link between generosity and happiness.” We are wired to be generous! “Giving back” focuses on us, giving focuses on others!
How can you show generosity today?