While I was at Izeafest I met this very interesting person, Azim Jamal. He was once a corporate employee, but discovered the power of giving. Now he is trying to spread the word around the world. He explains this in the book “the power of giving.” Mr. Jamal and Harvey McKinnon collaborated together together on the book. They completed it and it was published by Penguin Group. I was not the only person interviewed at Izeafest. Other interviews can be found on Viddler and at YouTube with other conference attendees.
The idea of Mr. Jamal’s book is to teach you how giving back enriches everyone and how to create abundance at home, work and in your community. What I enjoyed while reading the book is that it shows the reader how to give back without spending money. There is much more information about the power of giving on the website. Mr. Jamal has his own website for information about him. This is a really interesting book and one to give friend or family. Especially if they are not one to give of themselves!
If even half the people who read the book follow some of the advice within its pages, the world would be richer and a much quieter and safer place.
Mr. Jamal and Mr McKinnon come from Canada. Mr Jamal has been volunteering an average of 20 hours a week for the last 25 years. Mr McKinnon has been a fundraiser or organizations such as UNICEF and Amnesty International. You can find out more about Mr McKinnon at his website.
I can tell you there are many ways to help within your community. You don’t have to go around the world or have a lot of money to help. There are shelters, soup kitchens, volunteer fire departments, libraries, schools, museums, nursing homes and many other places you can help and make a difference. Then there are plenty of service organizations that continually welcome new members. Some of these are the Lion’s Club, Kiwanis and so on.
I have volunteered for years and it has made my life rich and given me peace within when something good happens to another person or family. Through the years I have been involved with my children’s school. I was a room mother and on the Parent Teacher Association. I have been with the Kiwanis. We had several programs to serve the community. Getting up early in the morning to put together Thanksgiving boxes and Christmas baskets is an experience that is rewarding. I have received a lot in life and have always believed I should give back to my community wherever I live. I was on a Board of Adjustment in one city and on the Planning and Zoning Commission in another. These are volunteer positions and can help the community in a variety of ways. I spent years as a rescue diver and firefighter with my local volunteer fire department. While often it was sad seeing other people loose homes or property, it was a wonderful feeling when we were able to save the homes. I even spent several years as a reserve police officer. While working side by side with paid officers, I did it without pay. In Texas a reserve police office has the same training and is identical to the paid officer, except there are no benefits or pay involved. Some people join the armed forces for the same reason, to contribute to society and make the world a better and safer place for everyone.
While I was in law enforcement as a paid officer (I made the switch years ago and am now retired) one of my passions were kids at risk. I had a policy of making myself available 24/7 if the child needed help or to talk. They would call dispatch who would then locate me and I would call the child back. Texas Department of Criminal Justice has an interesting program that many of these kids participated in while I was with the police department. It is called Operation Outreach. While many children ages of 10-17 were ordered by juvenile court to attend, our police department took many children through the program at the request of concerned parents. The kids and I would go toa state prison for the day. They would go through a day similar to one of an inmate and some would come back changed for the better. One of my favorite successes is a girl I had known since she was in diapers. Her family background is one of drinking, fighting and jail. That went back several generations. Her mother wanted to break the cycle and her dughter started to run with gang memebrs in high school. On the day she whent throug the program I asked her mother to let her bring her “colors” with her. I let her bring it to the prison and she spent the day treated like a gang member. It was not pleasant. Ofcourse when she was searched befor entering the prison her “colors” were removed. (I had talked to the sergeant who runs the program before we came about her bringing the bandana) Seemed as thoug the entire prison knew what gang she was trying to run with and treated her accordingly, albiet from a distance. The success came after we left. She got her bandana back and hung it up in her room to remind herself of why she did not want to go this way. She graduated from high school while many in her family did not, got into the medical field, married a paramedic and is living a good life. That makes you feel good when you realize how one day can make such a difference. She stayed in contact through the years so we would know how well she is doing and yes, I received a few phone calls from her or her mother when they hit rough patches.
I know quite a few Y generation individuals who have told me, “If I don’t get paid for it, then I’m not doing anything.” Of course I’ve heard it from my generation too. It can be quite difficult to put into words the satisfaction that comes from giving. Maybe if a person like this gets a gift of this book their mind can be changed enough to try at least once to give of themselves.