Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared in the Global Extrovert blog.
I love airports. That might sound crazy given this time of year. Or maybe it sounds crazy simply because you are a frequent (or infrequent) flyer like me and know that airports spell delays, lines, and countless frustrations. Yet, I have never been in an airport or on an airplane and not noticed someone or something that didn’t make me appreciate – in the midst of the chaos – the interconnected world we live in. I can miss my connection countless times, and yet I am still connected.
This is what I notice when I’m in the airport and this is what I see when I sit next to someone on an early morning flight (yes, I am that guy that likes to talk to my seatmates….). Whether it’s a soldier coming home and being embraced by his or her family, or the weary parent next to me in seat 13E, sad that they had to rush to the airport before the kids even woke up, we are all together in this crazy world. And we are all generous, not for ourselves, but for one another.
#GIVINGTUESDAY isn’t just the antidote to the crazed consumption of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it is a chance to recognize the gratitude we each feel every day and what we wished mattered most in our newsfeeds and social streams. Imagine a day where instead of being inundated in your inbox with discounts, to-do lists, and breaking news that let’s face it, is often just heartbreaking, you were overwhelmed with emails and stories about giving and generosity?
While #GIVINGTUESDAY partners all around the United States will take to their digital platforms and ignite their local champions to sound off a movement of change this Tuesday, December 2nd, partners all around the world will be joining them to do the same. From Australia to Arkansas, New Zealand to New Mexico, global citizens everywhere will join hands to give to those in need and celebrate the everyday heroes who make 365 days a year a season of generosity.
I am particularly thankful for the United Nations and our friends at the UN Development Programme, who remind me that true ambassadors for change aren’t just the ones gathered in the halls of the General Assembly. They are the bleary eyed people that I meet in the airline lounge; the employees at baggage claim finishing overnight shifts; people in line at the newsstand who let me go first just as they are about to close my gate; the taxi driver who gets me to my hotel safely; the person on the other end of my eight hour flight who greets me with a smile; and one of my four kiddos who sneaks a “miss you dad” card, scribbled in crayola, into my briefcase.
Kindness needs no passport – it flies around us all the time. Maybe it’s harder to find sometimes on our social streams filled with too many other things and maybe we have to remind ourselves to look for it more often. But I promise, because of your charity this #GIVINGTUESDAY, whether in the form of donations or volunteer hours or a click, generosity will travel around the world and back.