Generosity is about giving and gratitude is about receiving. Together they form the power of G-Squared. The importance of gratitude and the spirit of generosity are both key lessons to pass on to our children. There is never a time like the present and especially now during Lockdown. In South Africa, one of the most unequal societies in the world, there are more than enough opportunities to provide such teachable moments.
We used to have a family ritual at the dinner table every night. Before clearing the table, whoever blew out the candles had to say who they were blowing them out for; it had to be someone who needed a wish or a prayer. This made them more aware of others beyond themselves. However, our actions express our values, or what we value. For something to be real for children and not just information or words, they need to experience it or see it, not just hear about it. How are you expressing generosity during Lockdown?
Examples of expressing generosity in lockdown
It’s important to make children aware of the plight of those less fortunate than themselves. While we don’t have to take the whole burden on ourselves, many littles make a lot. There are a host of examples that come to come to mind through the use of our time, money and talents. Collectively they do make a difference.
- Feeding schemes:
- We are making sandwiches and providing tinned food, mielie meal and other staples for collection every Tuesday. My mum is a decorator and cannot work under current lockdown conditions so she has been giving of her time to connect with donors and collect their donations of food every week.
- My son works at a large veterinary practice and they are collecting food for animal feeding schemes.
- Sharing what we have with neighbours:
- I notice that people in our suburb, are generously sharing their excess, such as putting out boxes of lemons on sidewalks for neighbours to collect.
- Paying regular service providers; even though you can’t use their services:
- I have selected people, like my hairdresser and various therapists; who we see monthly, and I am continuing to pay their fees while I am able to earn.
- Pivoting businesses to help those in distress:
- A friend, who can no longer produce craft beer, due to the prohibition of the sale of alcohol, has emptied his vats and is now making soup in them for the underprivileged.
- Another friend and colleague who runs Preschools-4-Africa, currently can’t support the early learning centres, because they have been shut-down due to Lockdown. She raised enough money to supply 90 000 meals in April.
- Buying products from brands supporting good causes:
- An example of a brand that I am supporting is Cadbury Dairy Milk. Last year they collected over 100 000 pre-loved toys, books and games for distribution to orphaned and vulnerable children as part of their Generosity Project. This year the Glass & a Half Project is ensuring that more people can contribute. For a limited time when you buy a Cadbury Dairy Milk slab, in a special edition sleeve, a portion of the proceeds contributes towards purchasing a million Rand’s worth of new toys, books and games to orphaned and vulnerable children across South Africa. It’s nice to know that the chocolate brand that I normally buy is doing some good too.
- Knitting squares for 67 Blankets:
- Some families are taking this time to teach their children how to knit and are knitting squares for blankets for the underprivileged.
- Supporting cloth mask producers:
- Many people are out of work and are turning their hands to making cloth masks. Supporting individuals or small businesses with purchases of their hand-made products is a help.
The importance of expressing gratitude in lockdown
Gratitude is a great antidote to lockdown blues. We need to recognise and acknowledge that which we have and not focus on that which we do not. It’s also important to focus on what we can do and not what we cannot.
A discussion on gratitude is nice to do at the dinner table. Talk about what you can be grateful for as a family:
- A healthy, strong body
- Doctors and medicine to treat us
- A roof over our heads
- Food to eat
- Each other
- Things to play with
- Teachers who are teaching us online
- A school that cares
- Water and electricity
Be grateful for what we are learning over this time:
- How teachable we really are
- Discovering our resourcefulness and resilience
- Proving our adaptability and flexibility
- Improving our self-awareness
- Developing the skill of reframing and keeping perspective
- Learning how to give our energy leadership and direction versus having a victim mentality
- Getting in touch with who our kids really are
- Learning how to parent more consciously
- Helping children use COVID-19 as a teachable moment
There real benefits for putting the power of G-Squared into practice. Generosity and gratitude go well together and can lift you up in the downtimes. They are also an important part of the power of attraction – attracting positive situations and circumstances into your life. Who wouldn’t want that?
You may want to visit the following organisations that are doing good very generously right now and could do with support:
- Preschools 4 Africa http://preschools4africa.org/
- The Cadbury Dairy Milk Glass & a Half Project http://www.cadbury.co.za
- A Chance to Play http://www.a-chance-to-play.org.za
- 67 Blankets https://67blankets.co.za/
Listen to the podcast of my interview on Radio 702 here
Human Potential & Parenting Expert helping you to win @ work and life