2021 Vision to Look Outward

We are two weeks into the year 2021 and I am finished thinking of how to improve myself. Work harder, work smarter, workout more, and so it goes. What’s hot for me right now is being more generous. Generosity is one of my core values. When I am working with nonprofits, I have the pleasure of celebrating generosity through donor recognition. I make donations to church and charities and give a little of my time, but I can, and will, do more.

Generosity rose to the surface for me because of a simple act of kindness at a gas station. I went to get gas and found there was $10 pre-paid on the pump! I doubt someone mistakenly left without pumping the gas they paid for, so I am accepting it as a gift. It was my lucky day!

Why did someone pay for my gas? I’m not sure, but I do know giving feels good. And my church taught me that when you give, you receive, and I have found that to be true. I want to give so much I feel great and am fabulously prosperous!

There is so much inspiration from people who go big with their giving. I remember a story on, “60 Minutes” about Italian composer and pianist Francesco Lotoro, who has dedicated his life to recovering and cataloguing music composed by prisoners in the Nazi concentration camps. He also plays the music for audiences entranced by the passion the prisoners expressed in their compositions. The prisoners who were musicians were forced to play music in the camps, often as people arrived on the trains and were herded to the gas chambers.  

In another example from the Holocaust, the book The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris tells the story of Lale Sokolov, who risked his life daily to smuggle food and prescription drugs into the Auschwitz-Birkenau camps. The book and the story about Francesco Lotoro reminded me that people have the capacity to do extremely courageous things when they see others suffering.

My neighbors may be suffering, and I probably don’t know about it. In 2020 I will stretch myself and get to know my neighbors better. That’s an act of generosity. People in my city need help. I will become more involved in volunteerism. People in the world need an end to disease, war and hunger. I will increase my giving to Rotary International, which addresses the most pressing issues everywhere, and become in ending suffering in other meaningful ways.

Working harder, working smarter, and working out more will give me the fuel to be more generous. My vision is to look outward as much as inward. Feel free to invite me to help with ways you are helping others!

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St. Louis marketing and pr executive beth hammock combine creativity, storytelling, and strategic thinking to help businesses achieve more in today’s digital-first marketplace.

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