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Perspective: Today's a good day to try 'radical generosity'

Consumer-oriented retail holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday tempt us with their siren call of savings -- So today’s GivingTuesday comes as a much needed antidote to our collective overconsumption.


Started in 2012, GivingTuesday is both an organization and an international movement. According to Philanthropy News Digest, over $3 billion dollars was raised last year.


The idea of “radical generosity,” that the “suffering of others should be just as intolerable to us as our own suffering,” is particularly poignant now. When we feel helpless in the face of war, the rise of authoritarianism, and the demise of our environment, at least we can donate to aid organizations if we’re able to. But GivingTuesday is not only about monetary donations, important as they are.


Generosity and giving can take many forms. In our day-to-day encounters with family, friends and strangers, we can pay closer attention, listen, and truly engage-- getting out of our own heads and tuning into others. Time and thoughtfulness are invaluable gifts.


I’d never thought about it before but giving is the root of “forgiving.” It figures, doesn’t it? When we can let go of past grievances and wrongdoings, those done to us by others and by ourselves, we free up our capacity to give more fully.


I’m Paula Garrett and that’s my perspective.

Paula Garrett is a transplanted Southerner and a former WNIJ Blues host. She's passionate about music, travel, research, open water swimming and film.