Not too long ago I was at a fundraising event with some friends. A great deal of money was raised in just a few hours, with more pledged to follow in just a few days time. It was really exciting to witness, and as the evening was drawing to a close, one of my friend’s looked at me and said, “It’s amazing what can happen when people actually give a care.” This statement really stuck with me, though not for the reasons you might think. It stuck with me because, in my case, it’s not true.
I’ve always been blessed with incredible friends. If it’s one thing I ever did right, it was the people I chose as my friends. And my friends have done wondrous things. They are givers. They’ve given to me, their friends and family, and many times, even strangers. The people I know and consider to be my friends do, in fact, actually give a care. Many of them may be broke for this very reason. 😉
Some of my friends have raised money with athletic organizations like Team in Training. Some have gone on local, regional, national and even international mission trips. Some have served in churches or shelters or political campaigns or soup kitchens or at nonprofits or animal hospitals or as mentors. They all have given days, but I can easily name those who’ve given weeks, months or years, cumulatively speaking. It would take more than my four extremities, actually, to name them. They give their money, their time, their talents and their influence.
A few summers back I distinctly remember getting close to 10 letters and emails from friends raising money for something. Note: this period was just a couple of months. I was freaking out trying to think of how I could send money to each of them because I wanted them to succeed. I’ve grown to realize that these letters and emails will be a regular occurrence for me. AT LEAST one of my friends will always be raising money at any given time. And that statement makes me smile.
I don’t say all of this just to brag on my friends, though they deserve it. While the frequency in which I receive these requests may be greater than yours, we all still suffer from a common syndrome at one time or another: compassion fatigue. (No, I didn’t make that term up.) Sometimes needs are presented to us so often that they can easily become 1) exhausting or 2) white noise. We give to all, some, or none. But couple these personal requests with what we see on the news, internet and radio, and it can quickly and easily become an emotional overload.
I would urge you to push through the compassion fatigue. There are times I give to causes just because my friends ask, not because I particularly am passionate or invested in the cause. And that’s ok. When I have the funds available to do that, I will do so happily. I want to support them in what they care about, and encourage them to keep at it. We all don’t have to care about the same things. Just care about something. And better yet, give part or all of your heart to it. Don’t just send a check, though those are always good, but personally invest your time, talents and influence as well. When we give a care, we are acknowledging that life exists outside of us. We gain a greater perspective of the world. We become good citizens of it. I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t want to make a difference, large or small. Giving a care is one way of doing that. Champion a cause and see how your life can change for the better. Realize that there’s more going on than just you. Understand that everything on this planet is not put here to serve you, but instead, serve the planet in some capacity. It won’t be a waste of your time, I promise.
Try different causes and see what fits. What makes you happy? What breaks your heart? Where do you see a need you can fill just by being you? What fuels your passion? For me, my two biggies are my faith and modern-day slavery. Both have taken over my heart like nothing else. I champion them because I can’t help myself; I feel compelled. What compels you?
Go on. Give a care.
(And if you need some help finding it, I’m happy to help you explore!)