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Redefining Generosity

Today, my father is turning 70 years old in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. As I look back in my own life, I recall throwing my first event ever, his surprise 40th birthday party. I had a little bit of help because I was only 13 at the time. There were balloons, cake, people, presents, music, and more decorations!

I wonder how I paid for this back then? As I get older and wiser, I am constantly thinking about and preparing ways to be generous with my time, talents, and treasures. This year we will be celebrating his BIG birthday with a low-key dinner party at a local bistro with local family and friends. That was his wish. With the pandemic and a rising number of COVID cases, we are all proceeding differently than we would have because "we like go party!"

In November last year, I had the honor of helping to plan my best friends’ 40th birthday party. While her husband and I worked together, I asked questions, helped him make decisions and made suggestions about set-up, decorations, food and beverage, A/V, and more. One of my annoying questions to him was, “what’s your budget?” After some thoughtful consideration he was able to articulate his budget so that I could make more appropriate suggestions for the party. Throwing this party was his demonstration of generosity.

When we talk about being generous, we often think about paying for someone’s coffee in the drive-thru or maybe making a financial gift to a non-profit. I’m specifically thinking about the talents that we possess. How can we be generous with our talents? What is causing us to hold back? What are we afraid of? What if our talent could cure depression, give hope, or encourage someone?

In 2016, I became a Certified Zumba Instructor. I’ve been certified ever since, but only taught for a few months 2016. I’ve attended several Zumba classes here in Spokane and have appreciated other Zumba instructors sharing their talents via livestream classes during the pandemic. Their talent is generous in that it helps curb my mental health and encourages me to keep moving during this cold and dreary season.

What is your talent? How could it impact someone else? What would it take for you to be generous with your talent? How have your talents evolved over time?

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