The Giving Pledge, a commitment of 25 days of selfless giving, began as a result of a month-long exercise to stop and take stock of the things in my life I am most grateful for. A mere challenge by a Facebook friend for the month of November to daily identify something I was thankful for, I began to daily identify those things for which I was, indeed, truly grateful.
Many of my friends — and their friends — took on the same self-assigned journey: could we really come up with 30 things that we were really grateful for? I silently took the task one step further and told myself that my list could not include anything material. No, there would be no list to include my weekend home, my embarrassingly ridiculous shoe collection or my prized assemblage of antique china and crystal. For me, I wanted my list to include non-material treasures that no money could buy: my faith, my integrity, the life lessons I have (sometimes) painfully learned, etc.
The month was a deeply emotional experience that truly prepared me for Thanksgiving and for the holidays ahead. I stepped into the month of December with the true spirit of thankfulness in my heart for all the treasures I have and a desire to stress the importance of giving — real giving — for the days ahead. Low and behold, The Giving Pledge was born. A challenge to identify 25 days of gifts that any of us can give to others. Mostly non-monetary gifts, but gifts that are intended to encourage others, motivate others and help them find hope and happiness.
It doesn’t have to be Christmastime for any of these gifts to be appropriate; they can be given to anyone at any time. Each of us need to find ways to give of ourselves, our talents and our treasures to those in need. I challenge you to peruse the gifts I’ve identified in The Giving Pledge and make one or more your signature gift to those in your world. I’d love to hear the stories of the reactions you get and ideas on other gifts I’ve missed!
The best part of all? When you give these gifts, the person who receives the most will be you!