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What can I give?
The barrage of Christmas ads began several weeks ago. We’ve received warnings of shortages, delayed shipping, and increased prices. These messages can send you into a frantic frenzy to get everyone’s wish list as your anxiety escalates.
I’ve pestered my family for weeks. After all, the clock is ticking.
What if we approached giving with such determination all through the year? What if every day we asked this simple question—
“What can I give?”
Christian Fracassi, an Italian engineer, asked this question during the pandemic. Along with his business partner, Alessandro Romaioli, they wanted to help COVID patients who needed to be kept alive with respirators that required a special valve for each patient. When the valve manufacturer could not meet the demand, Fracassi and Romaioli asked the question, “What can I give?”
They had a 3-D printer and the willingness to do something to help. After visiting doctors at a local hospital, determining the specifications, and several iterations, they developed a prototype that worked in the respirators. The hospital ordered one hundred valves, and Fracassi’s small company filled the order free of charge.
Then, they did what you might not expect. Fracassi and Romaioli open-sourced their blueprint, making it downloadable. Anyone could now print the valve with the legal caveat was that the design is used only for emergencies.
You don’t need to be a polymer scientist or entrepreneur to maker a difference. Each of us can ask the question, “What can I give?”
I found many examples of simple giving in Brad Aronson’s HumanKind: Changing the world One Small Act At a Time. Brad shares the hundreds of small acts of kindness shown to him and his wife during her two and a half years of treatments for leukemia.
You can find many resources and ideas for giving on Brad’s website. As he puts it, “There’s no lack of opportunity for any of us to do good in the world. And there’s no lack of incentive. When we improve others’ lives, we raise the quality of life for the whole community. Kindness begets kindness.”
After wrapping paper covers the floor and glitter leaves the final sparkle of the holidays, keep asking the question that matters most every day.
What can I give?
I wrote about how my son’s single act of kindness taught me to never give up.
This Reader’s Digest article describes 21 Extraordinary Stories of Generosity That Will Stay with You and demonstrates how we can give in small yet impactful ways.
Diana Ross sings, Reach Out and Touch Somebody’s Hand, reminding that giving doesn’t require a fortune.
“No one has ever become poor by giving.” —Anne Frank
Be and become your best today and every day.
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