Category Archives: USAWEEKEND

Balance in a Giving Circle

Balance in a Giving Circle

We all are carrying somebody, and when we stumble there is someone there to pick up and carry us. It is a circle, an arc, a reach, a beam. Whatever your vision share it.

I suppose some people never seek balance, never think about the give and take, they haven’t grasped the power. I can’t remember a time when I was not a giver. Teaching the younger kids of the neighborhood how to ride bikes was giving. Months later as we raced down a huge hill I crashed in a sandy wipe out tumbling to the tar banging up everything from head to toe and scraping open a knee deep and bloody. Then all the kids came back, they pulled me physically out of the road onto the grass verge, just then a car roared over the hill and right over the spot I had been laying. It came back so soon the give and the take cycle always with me. I learned a couple things that day. Don’t tell Mom you were racing on Trowbridge Road, and your friends will take care of you if you take care of them. I never road a bike on Trowbridge Road again!
Think about your community, who are the do-ers? You can name a couple of people who are bound to be there whether its a sport event, PTA bake sale, zoning meeting, or firehouse fundraiser. They all have found the power of giving and the wonderful people you meet. They have seen the circle of giving, how it all comes back in some other form to enrich our lives. It is a power we need to introduce youth to, for they are equipped to continue the good work we begin, they have so many technological advances and so much energy making giving a natural part of their lifestyle will create world peace a lot faster than current political machines can create it.
My daughters invited me to watch a movie with them, it sounded nice as I don’t get to spend a lot of “down time” with them but I seldom watch TV or movies anymore I have so much I want to get done. ” Mom, you’re gonna love it , it’s your kind of movie”. We settled in and The Blindside with Sandra Bullock was indeed my kind of movie! This is a true story of giving and one that will carry the message of Give to such a large audience it is no wonder that the accolades still resonate because the ripples that film makes will create waves later!

Today’s paper carried the standard weekend magazine section USA Weekend, see issue for July 16-18, 2010 the cover story 21 Small Ways You Can Make Difference This Summer; by the couple who inspired The Blindside. Two pages of national coverage on giving! The right hand column a list of suggestions to get the cogs loosened up and the ideas flowing. The last item is “Oct 23 participate in Make A Difference Day”! We can do that!

Storytellers everywhere should tell a story that day to someone. Doesn’t matter , the who , what , where, just share a story and make a difference. We all have discovered the power of story so let’s just let go of work , job, and me for a moment on Oct 23 and share a story. Catch the kids on your street playing, the elderly neighbor alone all day, the waitress on a lonely shift with no customers, the Mom with children whirling beside her. Give a few minutes and let it go.

Did you stop and jot the date, do it now pull out the phone or calendar where ever you keep your schedule. Oct 23 share a story with anybody……………..don’t forget to push save. Got it? Great! Make a Difference Day will be awesome if we all just share what a gift we have in story.

Still feeling the high from giving? Don’t feel you have to stop at one story. You can give the gift of story again and again. You can also give to preserve the gift of story. The Ct. Storytelling Center is always in need of gifts. It is the heartbeat of Ct. Storytelling. At their website you can give a financial gift, or you can donate your most precious gift, TIME! Volunteer to work a Tellabration, become a volunteer at the Festival in April, send books for the new library, help us reach for the goal of a free standing home for the Conn. Story Center.

If the gift of giving is liberating you, continue to develop your philanthropic side. LANES, the League for the Advancement of New England Storytelling is our larger circle of storytellers and they have a needs list as well explore giving to Lanes and the Sharing the Fire Conference at their site It takes a whole group to pull together the wonderful festivals and conferences where we hone our craft to perfection.

One more step NSN, that’s a National Storytelling Network if you are giving to them ( or is it us) just think how far and wide it can reach.
Don’t feel you have to wait until Oct 23 , that is a reminder Nationally but giving can be perishable and contagious. So give it while its fresh and watch it catch on!
P.S. Curious about today’s picture: sculpture on the quadrangle of Columbia University New York City I just loved my visit there!