2009- A Time For Giving

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  • Happy New Year! As we enter into a brand new year, I’d like to share a short story with you in the hopes that it will remind you of what you already know.

    A few months ago I volunteered to help the homeless. As we were preparing goodie bags to distribute, a young homeless man walked in. He was ragged, thin, unshaven and looked like he’d had more than a few rough nights. We assumed he was here to ask for something from us.

    He approached our group, smiled, told us his name was Josh and asked how he could help us. At first we were taken aback by his request. He shared his story of being 24 years old and on the street for a few months. His parents didn’t have the money to help him and he had no friends or family in the area.

    To add insult to injury, he’d been mugged the night before, was bruised and now had no money, no coat, no shoes, no ID, and no glasses. He smiled and told us how much it meant to him that people like us would come to help folks like him. He explained how he wanted to be a giver too, and wanted to help us assist his brothers and sisters on the street in any way that he could.

    We were dumbfounded. We all came from good neighborhoods, great jobs, and lives of abundance and thought we were pretty cool for doing the right thing to help the homeless. For most of us, the worst thing we could imagine in life would be living destitute on the street. Take our worst fear and compound it, and you’d have this young man’s life. Josh made giving real.  I was humbled by his smile and his sense of gratitude for the things he did have in his life- few as they were.

    We were so inspired to help Josh, especially because he wanted to give. By the end of the day, not only did he have his basic needs covered, he also received a place to stay, a new job and the experience of helping his homeless friends.

    Giving opens up the magic of the Universe. So many times we say we’ll give “when we have a little extra”, or “when we have the time”. Yet here was a giver, who appeared to have nothing to give! Instead of sitting in the park feeling sorry for himself, he took the initiative to make a difference for others, and in doing so, his life changed.

    Sometime it doesn’t make sense and even seems the opposite of our normal reaction to circumstance, but I know this to be true. Give time when you’re stressed and too busy and you’ll find you have more time. Write a check when you feel poor and abundance will come your way. Help someone else with his or her problems and yours will disappear. Create opportunities to give.sunset-man-with-spread-arms

    As we enter into a brand new year, remember that no matter where we may be in our life,  we can all still  be a giver. For in giving, the doors of receiving are opened up to us. The true beauty of life appears when we learn not only how to be good givers, but good receivers as well. May you have a blessed 2009 full of giving!

    In 2009, remember to:

    – Be grateful for the blessings in your life.
    – Realize you are a giver and know that you have the power to make a difference.
    – Look for opportunities to give each day.
    – Learn to be a good receiver as well as a good giver.
    – Enjoy this beautiful new year by giving!

    Please write to me or post your stories here of how giving made a difference in your life. Thank you for sharing the beauty of your world with us. I greatly appreciate you!

    With love and best wishes for an amazing 2009, as well as big hugs,


    Gail Lynne Goodwin

    Gail Lynne Goodwin is the founder of InspireMeToday.com, bringing the best inspiration to the world. InspireMeToday.com provides free inspiration, each day from a new Inspirational Luminary, to a global community of folks from over 150 countries. Gail has interviewed many well-known names including Sir Richard Branson, Guy Laliberte, Seth Godin, Tony Hseih, Gary Vaynerchuk, Michael Gerber, Marci Shimoff, Jack Canfield and hundreds more. According to Mashable, Gail was one of 2009's Top 25 Most Inspirational People on Twitter. Prior to InspireMeToday.com, Gail spent several years as manager for her recording artist daughter, Carly. As a result of the success of their co-penned song, "Baby Come Back Home", Gail accompanied her daughter to bases in the US and to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba where Carly performed for our troops. Gail and Carly created the 'World's Longest Letter' of love and support and delivered the 18-mile long scroll on a month-long tour of Iraq and the Persian Gulf in 2006. Gail is excited to present her latest course, Love in 21 Days, a step-by-step guide to finding love online. Love in 21 Days is founded on a logical process that has been tested - and proven! - by not only Gail, but also by students around the world who too have found love. Gail is a published author and a regular writer for the Huffington Post. She offers mentoring and mastermind services to clients worldwide from her home in Whitefish, Montana. Follow Gail on Twitter or Google+.

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    1. Jessica
      Jessica says:

      Hi Gail,

      Happy New Year! I want to take this time to thank you for all your work. Every morning I look forward to reading “today’s brilliance”. Each day that I read the brilliance it inspires me more and more to achieve my goals. Thanks for this great website.

      May the new year bring you much success!


    2. Kate Sanner
      Kate Sanner says:

      Hello Gail,

      Happy New Year! I am grateful to have been introduced to your wonderful site through Dr. Linda Berry. Your blog entry is the perfect reminder, as this New Year begins, to be the conduit for good in this world through our acts of giving. Your statement “Giving opens up the magic of the Universe” brought to mind one of the lines in the prayer of St. Francis -“For it is in the giving that we receive…” Thank you for the inspirational story of Josh.

      I’m a coach for women in mid-life who want to bring their long-held dreams out into reality and these women inspire me daily and give me more than I can ever hope to give them.

      Wishing you much happiness, good health and success in 2009!

    3. anjali
      anjali says:

      beautiful blog Gail….thought provoking…i’m stumped, like u, on how can a destitue feel so much to help when his own condition needs to be taken care of..its so natural for us to think of ourselves first then others in a bad situation..


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