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Think Different About Generosity

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Think Different—it was an award winning TV commercial by Steve Jobs. It was part of the launch of the Apple revolution in personal computing. 

The commercial touts the “crazy ones” who aren’t afraid to dream and tackle the impossible. Steve Jobs changed the way people think about technology. Simple elegance. He viewed technology as transformational. But transformation is not safe.

I wonder if we don’t need a similar revolution with the way we think about generosity. For a long time now, we’ve confined generosity to the idea of giving money.   Maybe we’ve lifted up too much the idea of names on buildings and big pledges. And perhaps we’ve allowed that view to limit our giving of time, graciousness, gratitude, and maybe even a smile.

I don’t know. I guess I know a lot of crazy people. They inspire me. They challenge me to “think different” about generosity.

  • There’s Frank who wept when he saw a group of children huddled in a cave which they called their school. Frank is giving away his fortune.
  • There’s Morgan. So talented. So young. Yet giving her life to stop trafficking of young women in this country.
  • There’s Lindsay in Nepal. She disciples young women but drinks from water she knows that is not pure but it’s what’s available.
  • There’s Tom. He gives a big tip to those cleaning the restrooms at airports just as a way to say “you matter.”

There are so many more stories I could tell. I remember one young man who was off to the mission field. When I asked him why he would leave his home behind for a foreign land, he leaned forward red-faced and said “The cause of bringing peace to the world makes my blood boil.” He was sold out.

I pray that I’ll be one of the crazy ones, and in so doing be part of the transformational view of generosity.

About Bill High

Bill High is an author of several books and co-author with David Green of Giving It All Away and Getting It All Back Again: The Way of Living Generously: www.givingitallawaybook.com. You can find him at www.billhigh.com and sign up for his blogs there.

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