by Scott Blakemore

Over the years, Jackson has been the recipient of some very generous people and institutions –   our Carnegie Library is just one example.  When you think about ‘Generosity’, what comes to mind?  Does generosity pay dividends?

Big business understands that giving back matters.  In fact, the three finalists in the ‘Best Bank’ category all share how much their employees volunteer to Michigan nonprofits.   Being generous with time does make a difference. 

Generosity can take many forms – from donating time or talents to serve others, to offering financial assistance.  But what can we do, as an individual? 

Here are some ideas to consider that might help us be more generous on an individual level:

  • Mentor a co-worker or friend on advancing their career.
  • Help a neighbor who needs some home repair.
  • Offer financial assistance, groceries or gas cards to someone you know in need.
  • Teach a class in your area of expertise to help educate others.
  • Buy a cup of coffee for a friend and ask them how they are doing, and listen.
  • Be hands and feet for an organization that needs helpers to serve others.
  • Financially back a young entrepreneur to give them a chance to create something new.

There are a host of ways we can live generously.  Unfortunately, what often hinders us from being generous is that when we really stop and look at the needs around us, it is overwhelming.  We live in a needy community and we can’t do it all.  However, I challenge you to do for one what you wish you could do for many.  We all have abilities or resources we can invest in someone else.

Each of us, at our core, seeks to have a life of significance.  We want to live a life that makes a difference.  In many line of work, we often focus on the dollars and cents of our net worth, and while that is important, it is only part of the equation.  In the end, it is my conviction your worth is measured primarily by the impact your life has on the lives of others.  These are the dividends of a generous life.

By giving of ourselves, we can model generosity to those around us, build a Better Jackson and continue in the footsteps of the generous people who came before us.  

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