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Generosity changes lives


gen-er-os-i-ty – readiness or liberality in giving

Two weeks ago, in our Grace Moment, I talked about attending the memorial service for Torstein, a U of T professor who was especially generous with his time.  I witnessed a passionate and visceral outpouring of grief.  His readiness to share his time had profoundly touched his students and colleagues. 

Have you ever stopped to think about the individuals who have impacted your life through generosity?  It is an interesting exercise.  

Recently, I received an award and made a talk related to my professional career.  I wanted to acknowledge the contributions of a few of the many people who had assisted me along the way.  After much thought, I identified three long-term mentors who had generously shared their time, ideas, and thoughts, and mentioned them specially.  As well, I seriously considered acknowledging the contribution of Regis, a person I barely knew.  Regis was the marketing guru in our company, and the sponsor of the project I was leading as a new, young researcher, a project that was floundering.  In a review meeting, he was “generous” in sharing his frustration, emotions and legitimate concerns about how I was communicating and working with colleagues, i.e. he “raked me over the coals” about working together.  It was an embarrassing and humiliating experience.  However, Regis was right.  I took his berating to heart, rethinking my approach to people, realizing that more was to be gained by working together than separately, and I had to be responsible for insuring this happened.  This made all the difference.  

This month, we are being asked to express our generosity in a gentler fashion.  To pursue our outreach to children, youth and families within both our St. Philip’s community and the neighbouring community, the Council has decided to hire a part-time Learning and Engagement Coordinator to lead these efforts.   This is an ambitious plan.  Needless to say there will be additional expenses. These costs cannot be borne by the few, but through working and giving together, can be met by us, the many.  

Consider your 2019 commitment to St. Philips though a lens of generosity.  Generosity touches and changes lives. 

Sam Marcuson

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