I’ve never particularly enjoyed Valentines Day, for many of the same reasons that my father refuses to acknowledge it as a worthwhile holiday. Love should be celebrated every day, or at least whenever a couple/family/community feels like it, not on a Hallmark-sanctioned day. So I heartily endorse celebrating today as Generosity Day, as described in this article from GOOD magazine, an experiment originally done by Sasha Dichter of the Acumen Fund.
Why is Generosity Day worth celebrating? Here’s what Katya from Network for Good answers:
1. It is a nice thing to do for others on a day when not everyone feels loved.
2. It will be make you happy. (There is plenty of proof that helping people makes you happy.)
3. It will make you approach your life and work from a place of abundance rather than scarcity. (It’s a good idea to be generous when you’re hungry.)
4. It will make you better at the work of inspiring generosity in others.
May everyone give and receive love today and all days to those closest to them and the most distant stranger, without expectation of reciprocation. And remember to say yes to acts of generosity!
It’s no secret: I love GOOD Magazine. Not many days go by without me posting a link to one of their articles or blog posts on my Facebook, in hopes that the sometimes cute and often insightful ideas of GOOD will make their way to a few more people in the world.
In the last few months, GOOD has put out Doodle challenges. A theme is announced, and anyone who is interested can post their Doodles relating to the theme, for a chance to win a subscription to the magazine and often a t-shirt as well. One might think ‘they say doodles, but the only submission that has a chance at winning is something done by an actual artist’. Not so. Most of the Doodle submissions are black and white, and while detailed are generally not the work of practiced artists.
My favorite of the challenges was a Doodle prompt entitled Solitude in the City. While the resulting submissions were lovely, I was more interested in the two ideas contained in the prompt, as they are both concepts that have been unfolding in my life in the last year. Solitude, a strange kind of striving for someone as social as I am ordinarily, but an increasingly significant inclusion into my week as I dive deeper into relationships and social change work. And the City, a place with innumerable communities, cultures and crevices to explore. I am finding favorite nooks for people watching, biking destinations, the best happy hours, and realizing that the City is where I belong, at least for the next few years, time enough to carve out a space, both in physical location and vocation, in which to build community. So Solitude in the City in a certain way is the middle place, the balance point between pressing outward while meditating upon one’s inward life.
Here is my Doodle for my Solitude in the City, a simple piece on how deeply biking has impacted my year.