By Bob Knotts, Founder & President
“It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life, that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
We don't believe in giving at the Humanity Project. Surprising to you, perhaps? But wait ... You'll see what we mean. We believe in sharing. There's a big difference.
When sharing, we gain by giving. We take something we have and spread it around to others who can use it too. It may be knowledge or experience. It may be our talent or some possession. It may even be money. But by sharing rather than giving, an individual becomes more through the generosity, not less. The act of sharing acknowledges our relationship with other human beings for what it is: a deep and meaningful interconnection that requires us to help people. When we genuinely try to aid our fellow humans, we are rewarded with feelings of satisfaction, empathy, joy. We feel fulfilled because we indeed are fulfilled by this change in perspective -- sharing as a way of being rather than giving as something we do now and then. To understand this is to recognize that living for "me" alone doesn't work. Taking, taking, taking all the time, with occasional "giving back" mixed in among the taking. That's the attitude most of us have.
At the Humanity Project we think there's a better way, a system that I created and named "shared value." You can read more about it at this link: Read the "Shared Value" essay. This message seems especially appropriate as we enter the holidays, which often offer a good period to reflect on the direction our life is heading. If more of us can see that making an effort to help others really helps us too, the concept of shared value can have an increasing influence. To take and to give are self-centered ideas, all about my behavior as an individual. To share... this is something else. Sharing what we have and who we are with others proves to us that Ralph Waldo Emerson was right, as usual: “It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life, that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.”