This quote arrived in my email inbox this week:

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.  (Theodore Roosevelt)

Earlier in the week, I heard it said another way, “Do your share.  Know your share.”

And this morning, I found a note I wrote last August (which I love), “If you help, this will get better.”

Why the universe lines up little hints like this is beyond me.  But when they stack up like this, I stand back and take notice.

In our blog, I usually try to write something related to specifically to  philanthropy. .. how to give better, more effectively, with more intention…etc.  But the element that I find so powerful in these thoughts is not about the technical or professional side of the field, it is really about asking ourselves, “what brings us joy?” and then doing that.  What we “should” be doing doesn’t matter.   In fact, the “how we give, how we donate our time, and how we engage in our community” are all greatly improved if we can find the joy.

And this is the important part, “joy” doesn’t have to be complex.  It actually may be incredibly simple & seemingly quite “uninteresting”.   Personally, and for some reason I can’t quite figure out, I adore manual labor.  LOVE IT!  I love the opportunities to pick up trash, build stuff, garden, lift boxes, etc.  You can imagine that it took me sometime to figure this out, and longer, to actually admit it.  After all, aren’t I “suppose” to want to do “interesting” things like draw up a strategic plan, think about social enterprise, and sign up to volunteer in Africa?

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are” because “if you help, it’ll get better.”

It’s simple.  Possibly uninteresting.  But there is no guilt in that statement.  The only requirement is to know what brings you joy, and do just that.

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