Generosity Day

Generosity Day

Valentine’s Day… a lot of people have issues with this day. Some say that first and foremost, it’s not supposed to be celebrated because the saint it was named after was beheaded on this day. Second, it’s one of those Hallmark holidays that just dents and empties your wallets and pockets. Third, it discriminates the single (really?!?). Fourth (and this is pretty personal)… it’s not even celebrated in Saudi Arabia wth? So why the hullabaloo that comes with February 14? For me, I firmly believe that our relationship status has nothing to do with Valentine’s Day. You know what’s a better way to celebrate Valentine’s? By making it GENEROSITY DAY

By Janelle. This post originally appeared on The Pink Tarha

Riyadh+Acumen, one of my favorite organizations in Saudi Arabia (I wanted to be a volunteer for them since I stumbled upon their website a year ago), has decided to launch February 14 as Generosity Day in Saudi Arabia. Generosity Day, inspired by Sasha Dichter’s Generosity Experiment – a 30-day trial of simply saying “yes” to everyone who asked for help – rallies everyone to bring joy to loved ones and strangers in spontaneous, random acts of generosity. It can be as simple as helping your mother cook food or opening the door for a colleague. You are required to do only one thing: GIVE. 

Riyadh+Acumen built the momentum before February 14 and asked people to join them in reaching one million acts of generosity on the day itself. You see, it doesn’t take a lot to be generous… but it does take a lot of practice. I, for one, have been jaded about the beggars in the streets. Should I give because I feel pity towards them or should I not because doing so will only encourage them to beg? Are they telling the truth that they’re poor or are they just pulling my leg? Sometimes, these thoughts hinder me from giving.

A day after Valentine’s, my parents and I went to Batha and did our usual grocery. We entered one store and while browsing, a kabayan approached me and asked me for help. He said that their employer hasn’t paid them salary for several months now. It would have been easy to dismiss him because he doesn’t look like a beggar with his normal clothes but his tired face and the tremble in his voice affected me. I reached for money and gave it to him. No further explanation needed.

My friend Jou from Destination Riyadh told me about the Generosity Bingo, a kind of bingo that inspires everyone to be kind and generous. It’s actually fun checking the acts I’ve already did (which, I admit, are not a lot for now).

So, what have you done for generosity day? Share us your story too and inspire us all to do more, to do better, and be a part of an effort to make the world a better place.

Hooray for Generosity Day! You know what, let’s not make it just a day! Let’s make it a year! Or not a year. Let’s make Generosity a LIFESTYLE. ~ Sundrenched