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I struggle with generosity. I’m all about fairness, using an even hand to give each one their due. It’s much harder for me to give (or forgive) when doing so would tip the scales in someone else’s favor, when it will cost me more than I will gain. I tally dollars and cents, hours and minutes, costs and benefits. If I’m on the short side, I squawk!

It’s tempting in this economy—in any economy—to hoard and hold onto every resource. Having both witnessed and received extreme generosity, I’ve learned that giving joy to others takes away our own sorrow. Is it reverse psychology? An attitude of gratitude? A law of the universe? All of the above? Whatever you call it, blessing others blesses the blessor as much as the blessee.

What global causes stir your passion? Clean water? Refugees? Sustainability? Do you give corporately or personally to these dreams? Do you honestly believe that you—little ol’ you—can make a difference? I hope you do!

How can you give creatively and constructively to your community? What are the needs in your city? Do your schools need volunteers? Does the teacher’s lounge need new furniture? Does the shelter need beds or bath towels? Do the parks need perked up? Are the food pantries full? Can you gather canned food? Can your employees give one afternoon a month of paid time to their favorite charity?

How do you give to your staff? Do you think they’re lucky to have a job, or that you’re lucky to have them? Have you shared your wealth, be it meager or much? A gift certificate for dinner with a word of thanks goes a long way toward loyalty. A bonus check does even more!

Imagine the possibilities if you and Ms. Jones team up to change the world! Experiment with reciprocal giving: for every purchase that supports you, give to a cause she supports.

Have you cut back in giving back? Or have you multiplied your efforts even as your dividends have been divided?

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