Lent, generosity and choice
It’s lent and so a time where many people decide to give something up. Favourites seem to be chocolate, biscuits, cake or coffee. Some people do all of them! There are also those who will give up a particular activity, such as Facebook or watching TV. However my favourite lent activity is not giving up, but trying to be more generous. The 40 acts campaign has been run for a few years and has excellent ideas and things to do in order to be generous. A couple of years ago I blogged about their hospitality idea. Today though, I was thinking about generosity in general.
I find that I quite enjoy being generous. Those times when you feel that you can freely give to others, maybe beyond their expectations, do make you feel good. These generous acts don’t all need to be about money, time, skills and effort can make a huge impact as well. I will again recommend 40 acts to get you thinking about this. Small acts, giving someone a lift, spending time to have a chat, buying someone a drink or having people over for dinner can have a positive effect on us, as well as others. At Chennai Challenge we have been blessed with generosity from many places. Many people have been generous with their money in donating to us, others have used their time and skills to raise money for us, others, the generosity of venues being given for free. That is not even everywhere we have been fortunate, every team member has been generous with their time and skills in coming on the project and in India we have had huge generosity shown to us in terms hospitality. So a big thank you to everyone who has been generous towards us, it is greatly appreciated.
Back to 40 acts. Today’s challenge is all about choice, and letting someone else make a choice about what to do in your leisure time. The idea of choice is really central to what we do at Chennai Challenge. One of the hallmarks of poverty is a lack of choice. We are trying to increase the choice that people have. One big way we try to do this is by supporting education. Both Oasis and the YMCA run education programs, the YMCA with 2 schools and Oasis working in communities. Giving people an education starts to give people choices. The choice or career rather than being forced into one. The choice of how they live their life. I think that that is important.
So once again thank you for your generosity, please continue to be so, and lets help increase the choice that people have.