There is a sense of anxiety in the air, and for good reason.

The country is in a perpetual state of change. Race and race relations continue to hold center stage. The chasm between the haves and have-nots has reached epidemic proportions. The country is divided like never before. Politicians create fear among their constituencies with no apparent regard for the harm to the country. The citizenry has withdrawn into a cocoon of pseudo security, closing their minds as well as their wallets. ‘Giving’ is at an all-time low.

On the night before he was struck down by an assassin’s bullet, Dr. King gave a speech in which he relayed the tale of the good Samaritan, a biblical fellow who risked life and limb to aid a stranger in need. King chided that instead of helping those in need, far too many of us retreat to the comfort zone of fear because we are afraid of what might happen to us.

Yes, fear is a mighty fortress. It has walls as tall as the sky and a moat as wide as the sea. But history has shown time and again that the comfort zone created by fear is fleeting, and is too often used as an excuse for inaction. When we really don’t want to do something, especially if it runs counter to our closely held beliefs, we are easily convinced that there is a boogey man behind every tree and under every rock. ‘Fear’ is the convenient ace-in-the-hole for turning a blind eye to the needy.

When we inject fear into any situation, there is little opportunity for love and compassion to abide. When under the influence of fear, we actually stop living life to its fullest.

According to King, “We haven’t started living until we can rise above the narrow confines of our individualistic concerns, and realize the concerns others.”

The notion that we are putting ourselves at risk by helping others is irrational and fueled by fear. Whether we help someone in need or not, “risk” is a given fact of life, particularly in these tenuous times in which we live. One minute you’re set for life, and, “in the blink of an eye wealth disappears, for it will sprout wings and fly away like an eagle.”

Losing sleep worrying about the bad things that might happen to us is wasted energy. Instead, we should start living life by relishing in the satisfaction that comes from giving.

5 Reasons We Should Give

  1. The world is full of true need. Giving helps those in need.
  2. We are often so self-centered that we lose perspective. “Giving” helps us become less focused on ourselves.
  3. “Giving” truly is reciprocal. The more you give the more you get.
  4. The act of “giving” is a common thread that links all segments of society in a common goal.
  5. There are some things we do simply because it’s just the right thing to do. “Giving” IS the right thing to do.

Entrepreneurs and employers are in a unique position. Tough times, uncertainty, the ability to rebound, the willingness to take a punch, and the readiness to lead a charge are everyday occurrences. These are all transferable skill sets that can easily be applied to the art of giving.

Of course we shouldn’t be reckless in our giving, because in order to help others, we must first help ourselves. But the good thing about giving is that you don’t have to be rich; you don’t have to be a member of a certain party; you don’t have to be of a particular race; you don’t have to conform to a certain belief.

In order to give, you don’t have to be King. Everyone can do it!

Robert Gatewood, MBA is host of the #Marketing Pulpit Radio Show and president of Gatewood Marketing and Web Services. He is also a freelance writer, author, workforce developer, business consultant, and public speaker.

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