A good starting point is to share a theme on ‘Giving’ since this page is about the Art of Giving. The former American President, Bill Clinton in his book: ‘Giving’ published in 2007 asserts that each one of us can change the world!
How can each of us change the world, you may wish to ask?
Bill Clinton explains. We all have the capacity to do great things since service is a powerful agent of change in the world. While we do not all have the same amount of money, we do have the same twenty-four hours every day. Though some people have much less free time than others, nearly everyone can carve out some opportunity for giving. The gift of time can sometimes be more satisfying and more valuable than money. What you do with your time-giving depends on how much you have to give, what you know, and most of all, what you care about. It is always astonishing to see or hear of people who found a way to give when it was not easy to do so.
For example, an American woman, Oseola McCarty, in 1995, gave $150,000 to the University of Southern Mississippi to endow a scholarship fund for African-American students in financial need. For more than seventy-five years, she had barely earned a living washing and ironing other people’s clothes. She dropped out of school early to look after her sick, childless aunt. She never married, she never owned a car and at eighty-seven years old she walked to the grocery store to buy food. All this time she was saving and her savings were earning interest in the local bank. In 1994, arthritis forced her to give up washing and ironing. At which point she decided to give sixty per cent of her savings to help deserving young people go to college so they could get the education she missed.
She had saved all her life both because she knew the perils of being penniless and because she thought it was foolish to spend on things she did not need. The example of how much money we could give also applies to gifts of time, skills, things and new beginnings. If we all give according to our ability, the positive impact would be staggering.
Have you ever wondered why do some people give so much while others give the bare minimum or not at all? Bill Clinton says that we give because we think it will help other people today or give them a better future; because we feel morally obligated to do so out of religious or ethical consideration; because someone we know and respect asked us or because we find it more rewarding and enjoyable than spending money on material possessions or more time on recreation or work.
The essence of sharing the theme on giving, as a starter, is to demonstrate that all kinds of giving can make a profound and positive difference and that each one has something valuable to give. Of course, people have to make their own decisions about what they feel morally compelled to do and what will make them happy.