Gretchen Rubin

Story: You Can Be Generous By Taking.

Surprise! I'm changing the theme of the weekly videos. Instead of the Pigeon of Discontent, I'm going to tell a story each week. I've realized that--at least for me, and I suspect for many people--a story is what holds my attention and makes a point most powerfully.

Let me know what you think of this approach.

This week's story: You can be generous by taking.


If you want to read more along these lines...

Can refusing to give compliments be an act of love?

Why I try not to do things for others, but instead, do them for myself.

To make a friend, ask someone for a favor.

By chance, after I made this video, I started reading Kraybill, Nolt, and Weaver-Zercher's  book, Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy, about how the Amish community responded to the horrific 2006 shooting of ten schoolgirls at Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania.

The Amish rely on mutual aid within their own community, and for that reason, don't accept outside aid; for instance, they generally don't use commercial insurance or participate in Social Security. After the shooting, however, they accepted the money and gifts that poured in from all over the country for the families. "We are not asking for aid, but we will receive it," the Accountability Committee said. One leader said, "The whole nation is grieving. By letting them give, it helps them too." As the book's authors explain, the committee "agreed to accept outside donations so that others wouldn't be deprived 'of the blessing of giving.'"


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