Giving back – no minimalism here

“The meaning of life is to find your gift. 

The purpose of life is to give it away.” ―Pablo Picasso

In recent times, the world seems to be moving from one crisis to another. We’ve experienced the global pandemic. None could predict how quickly the pandemic would reshape the world. There have been dramatic changes to how we conduct our daily lives. 

Cities shut down, jobs lost, and family and friends suddenly at risk of contracting an unfamiliar and frightening disease. Economic uncertainty stares at us. Political and social turmoil continues unabated globally. There has been an array of natural disasters at regular intervals.   

Then there are personal traumas that we are dealing with. The loss of loved ones, unemployment, health issues, and so on. For many of us, this is a time of unprecedented struggle and upheaval.

There is disruption in life either because of the global pandemic or personal tragedy or both. Each one of us is struggling and living through difficult times, which can take a toll on the mood, health and outlook. 

At times, you  may be feeling overwhelmed with stress and anxiety, conflicting emotions and uncertain about how to move on with your life.  Life seems to be out of control and you feel helpless to affect whatever can happen next.

While there’s no way to avoid sorrow, adversity, or distress in life, having hope and building resilience can help you better adapt to life-changing events, cope with turbulent times, and bounce back from hardship and tragedy. It can help you to maintain a positive outlook, face an uncertain future with less fear, and get through even the darkest days.

With the coronavirus pandemic and troubled economy, many technical communicators may be facing some crisis right now. More than ever, technical communicators need a trustworthy place – the technical communication community – to turn to for guidance and hope. In these times of crisis, small gestures can make all the difference.

Typically, in the olden days – the perception was that technical communicators are loners and may not have access to various technical communication communities. Today, the same is not true. Today, a lone technical communicator or any technical communicator can reach out to various global technical communications communities using a wide array of communication channels and tools.

We have a unique opportunity to come together, give back to the community, to bridge humanity, and the future of our world depends on what you do next. 

The beauty of giving back to the community is that giving back is its own gift. Giving back will connect you more deeply with yourself and with the community. Spending time enriching your community is a great way to broaden your perceptions of the world. By immersing yourself in community activities and surrounding yourself with technical communicators who are dedicated to bettering the community, you can learn so much. You gain a unique sense of purpose by serving those around you, one which often manifests in other areas of your life.

Donating your time to support the community is extremely beneficial both for you and your community. It is statistically proven that individuals who have volunteered throughout their lifetime typically live longer and have better psychological well-being. In addition to the health benefits, volunteering gives people a sense of purpose. The fulfilling feeling of giving back and contributing to the community or society is unparalleled.

Giving back is also a great way to get to know your community. When you volunteer, you have the opportunity to meet lots of new people. Working alongside individuals who also care about improving the community allows you to broaden your network of friends. Additionally, it will help you to better understand the circumstances of other members of your community. Having a broad, open-minded perspective will help you to be an effective and empathetic professional.

If you are feeling helpless, help someone else. 

If you are feeling alone, help someone who is lonely 

If you are afraid, be brave for someone else. 

You can do more things, if they are not about you.

Small gestures in times of crisis can end up being the big gestures that made the difference.

 “For it is in giving that we receive.”―St. Francis of Assisi  

This world has so much to offer for us. We have the freedom to do anything we want. We can take from the world whatever we want. The world has an amazing amount to offer all of us.

We can take and take and take. There is nothing to say – we can’t. 

What I am suggesting is for more satisfaction and to sleep better try to give back. Be generous with everything. Be generous with kindness, care and generosity. Give your time and care. If you have a special skill, help others with it. If you have the influence, use it to make lives better. If you have the power to effect changes, do it.

And if you don’t? I’m sure that we all can make a difference in our own small way. We might have to look carefully or use our imagination a bit or be creative in how we define “giving something back.”

I guess we all have to ask ourselves:

Have I made a difference to someone’s life?

Have I put something back?

I am leaving you with these questions…something to ponder about….and act.

“We make a living by what we get. 

We make a life by what we give.” ―Winston S. Churchill

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