Today’s culture reeks of “to-become.” We gloss over the urgency of today and cling to the optimism of tomorrow. Giving is no exception.
Our implicit logic screams at us: “I don’t make six-figures yet, but when I do one day, I’m going to give." OR, "I have this crazy idea that’s going to end global poverty one day, but I have to establish myself first, so for now I’ll keep it in my side pocket.”
So then, what is giving? Giving is generosity? Giving is gifts? Giving is sacrifice? We continue to search for the definition of giving, pairing it with correlative words. Yet, we continue to overlook the word IS. That could be where the answer lies.
“IS” is the present verb form of “to be,” rejecting its nemesis “to become.” Further, it serves as a linking verb that modifies the predicate adjective or the predicate nominative. Under these definitions, “Giving IS” poses to us an incredible yet uncomfortable challenge.
Will we continue to see giving as a scaffolding process in which we merely diminish it as a potential and possibility? Or do we see giving as a re-identification of who we are today, acting as a critical component of defining how we shape our world?
At our organization, we've been blessed with people and partners who heed this call of urgency.
College students all over the country empty their pockets and clear out their schedules to help push our mission forward. (I remember when I was in college and was ecstatic whenever my bank account had double digits). We had a six year old from the midwest hold multiple bake sales and have her parents send us a check for $34. Even my own 60 year old mother regularly collects cans and bottles around her neighborhood, recycles them at the local grocery, and send us quarterly checks of approximately $25.
I remember asking her why she collected cans when the "return" on her investment was so low? Her simple yet deeply profound answer: "I don't have to wait for the next opportunity. There's always another bottle I can go find right now."
So, what are we all waiting for?