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Archive for the ‘Giving’ Category

The older I get, the less I want “things” as gifts.  Maybe that’s related to fear of downsizing!  It’s not that I don’t enjoy receiving presents, especially when the giver is clearly saying “I really know you” in the gift.  Recently my friend Patsy gave me a set of grips for handling hot pans right out of the oven.  For each hand there are two little rubber “sleeves;” the thumb goes into one and four fingers into the other.  And they look like cows.  This is practical: they really work more easily than regular potholders, they encourage me to bake, and she knows I’ve always had a great fondness for cows.  No special occasion, just something that said she was thinking of me and knows me well.  A great present. That kind of spontaneous giving is always especially appreciated and is in its own special category.

There are other categories of giving, of course.  We all find many ways every day to give in tangible and intangible ways.  And now, as the end of the year approaches, our mailboxes will be filled with requests to give to worthy causes and organizations.  For many of us, the difficult economy and our own shrinking resources combine with constant reminders that this is really our life, not, as they say, “a dress rehearsal.”  Each contribution we make has to count as a reflection of our own values and interests.

For me, one that I care about deeply is an organization I helped to start over 20 years ago.  The Philadelphia Young Playwrights, working with theatre artists and teachers, enables many hundreds of students find their voices through playwriting every year.  Once I saw that adult expectations could not predict which children and teenagers would find their own creative spark and have it burst into flame, I wanted to help. This reaches children assessed as “gifted” as well as those whose academic records point to early dropout or remedial programs.  Playwriting is an even playing ground.   At their website you can find how this exciting program works.  Watching children learn and develop their own strengths gives back to me in a way that makes the future look bright. [Please leave a comment here.]

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