Right now, we are all challenged with an economic downturn; some people have been financially devastated and some people have not been affected at all, but we are all subject to fear about our future well-being. No matter our own situations, let us not forget the many people who were suffering even when the economy was booming. Now these most vulnerable people will be the first to suffer even greater losses.
Yet there is also an incredible sense of optimism now. This is not only tied to the election of Barak Obama and a new United States administration. It also has to do with people being mobilized to make social change and seeing that change make a difference in the world. This optimism can be a balm to soothe our fears and balance them, so that they do not run into unhealthy anxiety.
Regardless of your current economic state and how fearful you are, it is possible to be generous to others every day. This can take many forms, according to your resources, skills, and abilities. Being generous with the money you have may be the hardest but most rewarding action you can take. Mostly this vow has to do with your heart and how willing you are to be loving to other people.
Here is What to Do:
As part of your own resolutions this year, make a vow to be more generous in 2009 and start on January 1st. Be generous with your time, your skills, your heart and your financial resources. Give as much as you can whenever you can.
Challenge Yourself – Do Three Things:
- Tie a piece of green string on your wrist (right wrist of you are right-handed, left wrist if you are left-handed) to remind you to be generous every day and in every situation.
- Ask yourself, What is the most generous response I can make? whenever you are faced with a choice, a confrontation, or a need. The green string should serve as a reminder to always ask this question.
- Invite all of your loved ones and friends to join you and wear the green string. Let’s see how much generosity we can generate!
As you may know, a string tied around the wrist is used in many religions. This often signifies protection from evil forces, is a good luck charm, and is a blessing that is carried by the receiver. Wearing a red string is a custom of Judaism’s Kabbalah, in order to ward off misfortune brought about by an “evil eye.” A white string is tied on the wrist in a Thai Buddhist ceremony to call a spirit back into a soul. The string ensures that the spirit will remain in that body. Thais also use string bracelets as part of wedding and funeral ceremonies. Tying string on the wrist is part of both the Theravada and Tibetan Buddhist traditions. They consider it protection because it reminds the wearer of the Buddha and his teachings. In this case, it is not religious. It is just to remind you to be generous.
I have created a group on Facebook for people who are taking a vow and tying a green string. You can see the group here.
Also if you put on a green string, please let me know by writing a comment to this posting (which can be publically viewed) or send me a private e-mail (which will not be shared with anyone or other lists, I promise!) to:
This is my vow as well and I have donned a green string. Please join us!
You may remember an earlier post called Prayer and a Vow of Generosity, where I credited Lois Mitchell with giving me the idea to have a vow of generosity. I thank her again for this beautiful idea; I send a prayer now to her and to you — to know the blessing of generosity in 2009.