Happy SMART Day Everyone!
This week SMART Living 365 recommends two websites connected to each other. The first is CharityFocus.org—which encourages us to be “selfish” by being generous and kind to one another. The second sister-site is KarmaTube.org, which is a collection of inspiring videos accompanied by simple actions that everyone can take. These two sites run fully by volunteers, each attempt to put the statement made by Gandhi into practice when he said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
Charity Focus is the brainchild of Nipun Mehta who started out as a software designer who eventually decided that helping others and doing good in the world had a much greater purpose. Together with friends, he designed CharityFocus.org with the intention of “incubating compassionate actions” and inspiring others to do good. According to their website, “from its very inception…the focus…has been on the inner change that comes when people take the opportunity to act selflessly.” One of their most amazing projects is Karma Kitchen. Karma Kitchen is a café where people go to eat and instead of receiving a bill, they are instead given a statement asking them to “pay it forward to the next guest” in a circle of generosity and giving—in other words, give what you want and what you can. Volunteers make and serve the food, and each meal is an active participation in a community of giving. Presently there are three Karma Kitchens located in Berkeley, CA, Washington D.C. and Chicago, IL.
Another project of Charity Focus is the “SMILE Card” (the size of a business card) which serves as a simple reminder to do something for someone else and then pass it on to another. An additional online project is DailyGood, where everyone can sign up to receive a positive bit of information in their email—every single day. See the website for more information.
The other website, KarmaTube.org is actually another lead project of Charity Focus. Not only does the website contain over a thousand inspiring videos, it encourages everyone to get involved by creating your own video, recommending other inspiring videos, or even volunteering to help. Every one of the projects done by Charity Focus and its team of volunteers is an inspiring reminder of the benefits to us all when we are generous with one another.
Make no mistake, according to founder Nipun Mehta, a person always gets far more in return when they give. He says, “I’ve noticed four key shifts that happened ever since I started practicing generosity. First is a shift from consumption to contribution. Second is this shift from transaction to trust—-I do something for you, you’ll do something for someone else, and over time it will come back to you. Third is a shift from isolation to community. So, when you give, you are actually very connected. The last thing is you go from scarcity to abundance.” It’s obvious that Charity Focus and Karma Tube are both great ways to live SMART 365.
“Giving is as good for the giver as it is for the receiver. Science says it’s so. We’ll be happier, healthier, and even—odds are—live a little longer if we’re generous.” –Steven Post, Author of Why Good Things Happen To Good People