Give. Pray. Post. A Joyful Adventure in 100 Days of Giving. What’s it about and why am I doing it?
Lately, I’ve been feeling bad about feeling bad. Initially, I had thought there was something wrong with me. I’ve had very little enthusiasm about anything. Nothing excited me. Then I realized, in chatting with my daughter, that I’ve been depressed. Not so much because of some chemical imbalance or psychological malady, but because of empathy. For an empath, there’s a lot to feel bad about right now.
The relentless Coronavirus. Ongoing social unrest. Economic upheaval. Endless political wrangling. Each day brings news of new global suffering or unforeseen tragedy. Constant antagonism and hostility. In addition, several friends, or friends of friends of mine, have been inflicted with chronic health conditions or suffered terrible accidents. Reading or watching the daily news has only served to amplify the pervasive negativity and sadness.
In the same discussion with my daughter, she shared about her own recent challenge of discovering sources of joy in her life. She has learned to consistently tap into these wellsprings of life that replenish her soul and restore hope. Driving home that evening, I realized that I had many more dark, draining inputs throughout the day than positive ones. I not only needed to decrease the negative inputs, but also find some light producing ones. I remembered that THE most empowering, joy producing activity in my life has always been giving.
As I ruminated further, I came up with a mental and emotional “survival plan” to help me happily get through the next challenging few months, until the new year.
I would set aside a designated amount from my retirement account (it could also have been a percentage of assets, income or stimulus check) and give a donation to 100 different individuals or organizations. With the five months remaining in 2020, that would equate to twenty gifts each month, 5 gifts every week, one for each weekday. Embarking upon a joyful adventure in philanthropy!
I’m not very good at praying. It’s been spotty and rather repetitive. I do converse with God and pray for family and friends. But my prayers have lacked enthusiasm of late. However, I became interested in adding prayer to my weekday gift, since I was vested. The action of giving made praying more intriguing. It also motivated me to learn more about the respective cause.
Lastly, I hoped that by sharing my little giving escapade, as it evolved through the year, that it might inspire others and perhaps even multiply my respective gift by bringing more attention to the cause.
Hence, Give. Pray. Post.