Five Ways to be a Good Neighbor in the New Year

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be-kind-everyone-you-meet-fighting-hard-battle-whoisplatoThe old year is put to bed, and the New Year is still waking up and getting started. As you rise up with it, consider some ways to make this year a little happier for you and those around you. You can make a difference in the lives of the people you come into contact with with only a small amount of effort. Here are five ways you can be a good neighbor this year. Can you suggest more?

1) Seek First to Understand: By now we’ve all seen the Internet memes out there with Plato’s quote, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard (or harder) battle.” Next time you encounter someone who seems like he or she is about to bite your head off, consider the person might be having a really bad day, or is going through a painful time. If it’s someone in a store or on the road, let them pass and silently wish them well. If it’s a friend, co-worker or family member, save the tart response and ask a few questions. Hey, are you having a bad day? What’s up?

2) Schedule in Chance Conversations: Years ago my neighbors told me it always looked like I was in a hurry to get somewhere. I [Read more…]

Here Comes “Giving Tuesday,” a Day of Charity to Follow Buying Frenzy

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It was, perhaps, inevitable that someone would follow up Thanksgiving weekend’s “Black Friday,” “Small Business Saturday,” and “Cyber Monday,” with a day devoted to charity. This year someone has, with “Giving Tuesday.” The first one takes place tomorrow, Nov. 27.

Giving Tuesday is the brainchild of the 92nd Street Y in New York City, which was joined in the effort by the United Nations Foundation, along with numerous corporations and nonprofits. The idea is a simple one: “find a way for your family, your community, your company or your organization to come together to give something more.” Part two of the idea is to then share with others how you are giving back to the community.

More than 2,000 nonprofits around the country signed up as Giving Tuesday parters, including hundreds in the state of California. Some are planning special events to mark the day, and many are kicking off fundraising campaigns for projects. A number of businesses are agreeing to increase giving, or match donations, made on the day.

What do you think about Giving Tuesday as a new holiday tradition? Tell us in the poll!

Will you participate in Giving Tuesday?

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Generosity Good, Good For You, According to Research

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On this Christmas Eve when we’re all in a more generous mood, here’s a link to an excellent article in the San Francisco Chronicle about research that shows being generous and volunteering reaps big rewards for the person displaying generosity.

Click for full article here.

Giving and helping others makes us happier than spending money on ourselves, research shows. Although there is a side of doing volunteer work or giving from a purely self-interested point of view: we get more respect in the community, our influence grows, and people will be willing to cooperate with us more. It’s an interesting read.