When it comes to striving to lead a bold life, one of the key pillars is giving back. Giving back is important because it helps us connect with others while making a positive difference in the world. Likewise, acts of generosity have a significant impact on others, often inciting notable changes in their lives as well. Through charity and other acts of kindness, we sow seeds of positivity and hope that are truly contagious. And in the process, we enrich our own lives for the better. In an effort to highlight these advantages, here are three stories of giving. Through them, you can appreciate the far-reaching benefits that giving back offers.
Giving the Gift of Life – One of the Greatest Acts of Generosity
After suffering years with a failing liver, Brenda Jones learned that she would need a liver transplant to survive. Though she was 69-years old, she wanted to live many more years. And by all accounts, with a healthy liver, she could. So, the doctors placed her on a liver transplant list hoping a donor would eventually appear. Brenda waited for a full year before she received the call from her doctor that a match had been found. Thankful that a donor liver had been found, Brenda planned her transplant surgery with great anticipation. But before the procedure was performed, she received another call as well.
The second call was also from her transplant surgeon at Baylor. He told Brenda about a 23-year-old woman, Abigail Flores, who had been flown into the hospital that day. Abigail needed a liver transplant as well, and without it, she would die within 24 hours. And most important, the liver that was a donor match for Brenda was also a match for Abigail. The choice was up to Brenda, but she did not hesitate. She gave permission for the surgical team to give the liver to Abigail, and as a result, Abigail survived. It was one of the most profound acts of generosity witnessed, and Brenda affected numerous lives in the process. And as luck would have it, Brenda was notified four days later that another liver for her had been found.
Giving Back as a Community – Empowering Others through Acts of Generosity
For the past three days, Fred Barley had been sleeping in a tent on the campus of Gordon University in Georgia. Hungry and homeless, he had been unsuccessful in finding work, which he needed to survive. As two police officers approached Fred, they questioned him why he was sleeping on campus. And what they then learned affected them profoundly. Fred had traveled six hours on a bicycle in 100-degree weather so that he could attend his second year in college. With no support, his plan was to camp until school began a few weeks later. And during that time, Fred had hoped to find work.
Touched by this 19-year old’s desire to succeed, the two officers spent their own money for a motel room for Fred. Word then traveled throughout the community about Fred’s situation and their acts of generosity. The owner of the motel allowed Fred to stay there until school reopened. A local pizzeria gave Fred a job as a dishwasher. And most importantly, the community started a GoFundMe donation page for Fred that raised over $180,000. What began as acts of generosity by two officers blossomed into an entire community giving back. Today, the community of Conyers continues in these efforts by launching several charity events to help low-income families.
Giving Back as a Way of Life – Making Charity the Centerpiece of a Bold Life
Julia Wise had always felt strongly about giving back to others through charity. In fact, she felt it was her own personal mission to succeed so that she may help those less fortunate. Thus, when she met Jeff Kaufman, it was a match that was perfect. Jeff also believed in acts of generosity as a means of enriching one’s life. With this in mind, when the couple married, both decided to give back a portion of their income to various charities. But their commitment to these acts of generosity was quite profound. Since 2008, Julia and Jeff have given more than 40 percent of their earnings to others in need.
With Julia being a social worker and Jeff being a software engineer, their contributions are rather sizable. Over the course of the last decade, their efforts of giving back have touched the lives of many. Charities to which they have made donations range from individuals stricken by malaria and other diseases to Oxfam and Save the Children. And while this degree of giving might be assumed to cause financial hardships, this is not the case. Those who know both Jeff and Julia describe them as some the happiest people they know. And according to the couple, they would have things any other way.
Choosing to Embrace a Giving Back Attitude in Your Life
There is something special about acts of generosity and their effect on us as individuals. When we choose to give back to others, we are showing that we respect them as individuals. This simple effort is tremendously empowering even beyond the actual contribution made. And at the same time, we enjoy a sense of enrichment in our own lives because we feel valued by others. Rather than simply using our resources to help ourselves, we choose to donate resources to other causes. And this creates a larger purpose for us well beyond the scope of our own life.
Giving back should therefore be a goal of anyone in their pursuit of a bold life. As evident in these inspiring stories, giving back empowers others and motivates them to perform acts of generosity as well. Ultimately, this creates a community of altruism that creates a culture of respect, caring, and concern. This should be an environment that we all strive to achieve regardless of our own situation. Whether small or large in nature, acts of generosity have profound effects. Therefore, finding ways to give back to others daily should be a central part of all our lives.