Valentine’s Day No More: Generosity Day is Born!

Helping others never felt so good! (src)

This is a pretty rad idea by blogger and Acumen Fund director Sasha Dichter: re-define (or “re-boot” as he says) Valetine’s Day (which I am pretty skeptical of anyway) as Generosity Day by spreading “love, action, and human connection” instead of the typical, bullshit purchases of flowers, candy, and “expected affection” (my term). Whether you think re-purposing a holiday is just as silly as the holiday itself or not, it would be hard to argue against more love and human connection in our society.

Dichter asks that we say “YES!” to everything all day long, “creating more generosity in the world, and becoming a more open person along the way.” Of course this reminds me of the movie Yes Man (hilarious!), but I see Dichter’s more practical, real-life point: stop making excuses, help a damn person out, and be more positive! Need some suggestions? His post today has a few:

Give to people on the street.  Tip outrageously.  Help a stranger.  Write a note telling someone how much you appreciate them.  Smile.  Donate (more) to a cause that means a lot to you.  Take clothes to GoodWill.  Share your toys (grownups and kids).  Be patient with yourself and with others.  Replace the toilet paper in the bathroom.  All generous acts count!

I was debating on whether or not to use a Groupon to go out to eat, and now I’ve decided to use it and take a friend out to lunch. As luck would have it, a co-worker asked me about recycling some old electronics, so I volunteered to take them for him. And I should be able to convince my girlfriend to let me cook dinner for her (not too difficult). But, what else can I do? The day is young, and in Louisville there are plenty of opportunities to help people!

I was leaving the grocery last night, watching a guy my age buy beer and a giant stuffed V-day teddy bear for his partner, and thought, “really? that equates to love?” – but those judgments get you nowhere. I don’t know their relationship. I can, however, control what I do, whom I share love with, and how I treat other people (and animals). That’s something to strive for excellence in every day, but I’m okay with drawing attention to it on this #generosityday too!