A New Adventure
If there is one thing that Americans love, it is a good adventure.
Exploring. Traveling. Discovery. It’s in our cultural DNA.
In the summer of 2021, thousands of Americans unleashed from lockdown took to the road.
After Market News reported, “In the first two weeks of August, Americans recorded nearly 12 million long-distance (100-500 mile) road trips per day.”
That’s a whole lot of miles.
In 2021, we asked hundreds of students across America to embark on a different kind of adventure.
Instead of using GPS, they used our Generosity Roadmap to navigate how to interact with each other and the world around them:
A generosity road trip, if you will.
They were logging miles of sharing and encouragement using our 12-lesson program, exploring the 7 ways of living generously through:
thoughts, words, money, time, attention, belongings, influence.
In a world that is becoming increasingly self-focused,
we invited them to think about…others.
If that’s not a huge adventure, I don’t know what is.
Discovering We vs. Me Thinking
Life tends to be a bit “me-centric” these days.
Have you noticed?
We can be a little obsessed with ourselves-
our wants, our needs, our problems.
We even document our own lives moment by moment. (Instagram, anyone?)
The problem is that the more we focus on ourselves the more disconnected we get.
A University of Chicago study found that the more self-centered people are,
the lonelier they get. And vice versa.
What a sad cycle.
And the exact opposite of what we want for our kids, right?
By introducing kids to living generously, we are introducing them to a lifetime of connectedness.
Think of it this way:
When I am living generously, I go from thinking about me…
to thinking about we.
My world gets bigger. And brighter. With you in it.
And your wants, your needs, and your problems become mine.
And vice versa.
The generosity road trip is the journey of togetherness.
A Liver Giver
Just ask Brenda Jones.
Brenda is a 69-year-old great-grandmother whose liver was failing. She had reached the the top of the transplant list and was taken to the hospital to receive her new liver.
The thing was there was another person at the hospital who desperately needed that same liver.
23-year-old Abigail Flores was fighting to stay alive. But she was lower down on the transplant list.
Upon hearing this, Brenda made a beyond-generous decision.
She opted to stay on the waiting list longer so that Abigail could have a chance to live.
Brenda is a we-thinker. She is generosity trail-blazer.
She said, “In my heart, I wouldn’t have been able to live with the liver if I had let this little girl die. And I still had more time … I would have been a very selfish person.”
Brenda and Abigail will be connected for the rest of their lives…
because of generosity.
“I think she saved my life,” Abigail said. “If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be sitting right here right now. I thank God for her each and every day.”
(FYI: Brenda received her new liver a few days later!)
What’s crazy is that when we we-think instead of me-think, lives are changed. Forever.
Not just for Brenda and Abigail.
But for every kid who follows the Generosity Roadmap.
And for you and me.
Here at ILG, we want to embark on an adventure of generosity.
Let’s become we-thinkers.
Why not download our free Generosity Roadmap lesson and get inspired?
Then share it with your school,
and your neighbor Phyllis and get them inspired, too.
I mean…what would it look like if 12 million folks decided to take a generosity road trip this summer?
I think we should find out!
Susanna Aughtmon is a gifted writer, wonderful wife, mother, daughter and friend, and a valued member of the I Like Giving team.