Today is our bonus day. The extra 24 hours we get every 4 years.
But, like those months where you get extra paycheque, that bonus can be set aside for something intentional, or simply absorbed into the warp and weft of everyday life.
Of course, I know that February 29th is not a day that exists outside of the calendar, outside of commitments or responsibilities. But, as an extra gift of time within the whole year, it is a reflective moment for me to ask myself, what is important to me in the time that I have?
This sentiment came up significantly in Atul Gawande's book, Being Mortal — a piece of work I would consider essential human reading. In that context, Gawande writes about the elephant in the medical room: death. The last third of the book really explores how to have conversations to articulate the important things to us, so that in the face of death, we have a paradigm through which to understand & make decisions.
But, isn't this a helpful question to ask at any time of our life?
I certainly asked this of myself when a relative of my husband's died young and unexpectedly last year.
How shall I spent my time, my efforts, my money, my mental capacity? However long that time is (the time that I have), what is most important to me? And, key: how do I make daily decisions to reflect those decisions?
What do I say no to? There is a barrage of input coming at us from all sides: information to absorb, great things to participate in, billions (literally) of people in the world to have relationships with... but each carries its own time, energy, etc. Where do I say no that will align with what is important to me?
What do I say yes to? Saying no to some things opens me up to say a hearty yes to others! What do I want to say YES to that will bring the best to me & to the world, an outpouring of what I have to give in service & love to others?
These are the questions! And what better time to ask them than when we have a whole extra day to consider our answers :)
(Photo courtesy of Friends of Basha)
Reflections from my experience visiting a Brothel in Bangladesh
As impossible as it is for me to believe now, earlier in 2020 I flew around the world. The primary objective was to visit Bangladesh and see, in person, the life-changing work in which dignify has had the privilege to participate over these past 8 years.
A friend recently asked on Facebook for “the most challenging and enlightening resource you have read/watched about the problem of racism in America”. This question received numerous responses within the day: half a dozen films, dozens of books, podcasts, courses, and other hubs of information resources (as well as the astute reply, “Conversation”, which is, of course, the most relational and human of “resources”).
I think that this experience was shared by most people in early June (as protests & concerns over racial injustice had reached a critical volume): so many resources, so much to learn.
But now, 2 months later… what have we done with the magnitude of worthy, fascinating, perspective-altering information & insights that have been brought to our attention?
And this it only in the area racial injustice. In other interests & concerns: How much do we know? How much have we learned & read & listened to already?
Approximately 25 years ago (in March 2020), we did a customer/reader survey. I asked what you like to read on the blog & one of the respondents suggested a post on "living generously". What a fabulous idea and perfect for this time in history!
[The title of this post implies some kind of authority or expertise — ha! Nope, no experts here... just some thoughts on generosity from a fellow human, trying to make my way!]