Give it to Get it

A Muslim pilgrim prays at the top of Mount Noor in Mecca

By becoming the answer to someone’s prayer, we often find the answers to our own.

MOST OF US KNOW that if you want to achieve a certain outcome, you must develop strategies to get you there.

For example, if you want people to attend an event, you might send out invitations. To increase your success in getting actual bodies to your event, you may further decide to invite those who are most likely to attend your event.

The above quote seems counterintuitive in comparison. But is it also effective?

Whether you believe that you reap what you sow, or to keep a gift you have to give it away, or that Karma lurks around the corner; you may have experienced this concept to be true.

25 years ago, I was at a low point in my life. I felt alone and broken. Looking back, the best decision I made, was to volunteer with an organization that looked after some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

By walking with people through their brokenness and loneliness and believing in them until they believed in themselves, I unwittingly brought meaning and purpose back into my own life.

The purpose of this blog is to facilitate discussions that will help us all to better engage with our communities. Your participation and feedback are most welcomed and valued. Please join the discussion below.

How To Destroy Your Enemy

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Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them? – Abe Lincoln

How To Destroy Your Enemies

1. You could dig up dirt on them and leak it to the public
2. You could study them to determine their weaknesses and chip away at them until they break under the pressure
3. You could study them to determine what/who they love and cut them off from it/them
4. You could gather data to prove that they are wrong about something and discredit them
5. You could bear false witness against them, thereby inviting the unjustified wrath of others
6. You could harm them in some way and render them useless
7. Or you could enter into a conversation with them to find out what you have in common and take it from there…

Often when disagreements surface, we feel we must clobber down those whom we perceive to be working against us and their ideas.

We’re afraid if we don’t, we won’t get our way.

We want to win.

If we really want to win, we should start where we agree and work forward from there. We’ll likely find that the end result is better than either side could have imagined alone. Who could you reach out to today to begin discovering which values you have in common?

The purpose of this blog is to facilitate discussions that will help us all to better engage with our communities. Your participation and feedback are most welcomed and valued. Please join the discussion below.

Celebrate Joy and Grow Through Sorrow

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When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate, when life is bitter, say thank you and grow. ~ unknown

What an amazing journey we’re on!
Life is a gift.
Its ebbs and flows.
Its highs and lows.
The connections we make and break.
The joys and sorrows we experience.
Each one of our paths; unique
a combination of choice and circumstance.

Sometimes courageously following our dreams. Inspiring and encouraging others to follow theirs. Take hold of ‘moments of joy’ – treasure them in your heart. They will carry you through the hard times.

Other times we are paralyzed by fear. These times make us empathetic and patient with others who are afraid.

Embrace every part of who you are.
Rippling effects that change the course of our path, that teach us if we let them. Or haunt us until we are teachable.
Life is a gift.
A beautiful and precious gift.
Don’t squander it.
Don’t take it for granted.
Be grateful for every opportunity given.
Even our mistakes have meaning when viewing our lives in this way.

Rising To Leadership

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There are standards to which government, religion and higher education should be held. There are examples that politicians and principled businesspeople should endeavor to set, regardless of whether their peers are making that effort. There’s right and wrong, not just better or worse.

And there’s a word for recognizing and rising to that: leadership. We could use more of it. ~ NY Times, Weary of Relativity, May 23, 2015.

There are times when I convince myself that I’m doing alright by telling myself that:

  • I do better than that other person.
  • I’m not as bad as so-and-so.
  • This is how everyone else does it, it’s good enough.
  • Things are fine, why should I go that extra mile?
  • There’s not enough time to do it the way it should be done.

Lowering the bar is tempting, especially when I’m tired. I don’t want to go there though. I want to strive to always do my best. I won’t always succeed but I want to keep that bar raised high.

I want to do right, not just better than others.

Are high standards important to you?

The purpose of this blog is to facilitate discussions that will help us all to better engage with our communities. Your participation and feedback are most welcomed and valued. Please join the discussion below.

If I Have To Choose…

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I’d rather have a life of “OH WELLS” than a life of “WHAT IFS.”

Because it’s easier for me to take my lumps in ‘oh wells’ than it is to take them in ‘what ifs.’ I’d rather try and fail than not try and forever wonder.

I am reminded of a post I’d read months ago (link below) about the regrets people have on their deathbed…

…and my thoughts about the areas I needed to work on; areas I have been consciously and unconsciously working on since reading the article.

According to Bronnie Ware the Top 5 regrets people have on their deathbed are:

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself.
2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

To read more on Bronnie’s thoughts see Nurse reveals the top 5 regrets people make on their deathbed

Which of the above points resonate with you? What are you doing about it?

The purpose of this blog is to facilitate discussions that will help us all to better engage with our communities. Your participation and feedback are most welcomed and valued. Please join the discussion below.

A Good Time To Do Good

kindness-3“Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as ever you can.” ~ unattributed

There seems to be a dispute about whether or not this quote can be attributed to John Wesley or not.

In fact there’s a whole website dedicated to the quotes John Wesley did not say.

But who said it, doesn’t matter nearly as much to me as what the quote suggests.

Doing good.

Right now, using all the gifts at your disposal, no matter the circumstances.

No matter where you are, what time it is, who you are with and how much time you have left, doing good is a worthy endeavor.

Not just when you’re at the top of your game; when all the pieces are falling into place.

But do good when your bottom’s falling out.

When you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Do good when you don’t want to — especially when you don’t want to.

The purpose of this blog is to facilitate discussions that will help us all to better engage with our communities. Your participation and feedback are most welcomed and valued. Please join the discussion below.

How Much Do You Care About Your Donors?

PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT I’m not challenging your goodness or integrity.

As a fundraiser, you work hard to support a cause that means a lot to you. You strive to connect your donors’ passions to the needs of people your organization cares for.

And you are successful by staying true and focused on your organization’s mission and vision. This is exactly what you should be doing. Good for you!

But what happens when others are finding solutions to the cause that is important to you in different ways or through other organizations?

Do you feel tempted to create a new program in order to win their support?

Do you try to convince your donor to change her mind on the type of program she supports by trying to convince her that your organization’s methods or goals are better? Or reach more people?

Or do you recognize that other organizations may be filling much-needed gaps in the bigger picture of the cause you care deeply about and choose to honour the passion of each individual making a difference in ways that are meaningful to them?

Maybe it’s not about who is better at what. Maybe it’s about each person doing their part and in doing so, achieving better results than anyone of us could have, alone.

What do you think?

The purpose of this blog is to facilitate discussions that will help us all to better engage with our communities. Your participation and feedback are most welcomed and valued. Please join the discussion below.