posted by Talk About Giving blog team

April 17, 2012 @ 12:00 pm

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Have you ever been part of a book club? You read the book and then get together with some others to reflect. If you haven’t been to a book club, you’ve probably been to a movie with a group and had a discussion about the storyline after viewing. Were you surprised by the different experiences other readers/viewers had? Maybe they noticed details you hadn’t or important character traits that you dismissed. Perhaps they picked-up on themes or morals that you didn’t. Maybe you didn’t get it at all, but someone explained the plot or theme in a way that made it clear.

When we participate in giving and helping others, the experience can be similar. What one person experiences might be different from another and by reflecting on our efforts together we can influence one another’s perspective. Maybe your family helped out at the soup kitchen and you were busy cooking in the back, and didn’t get to see the smiles on faces of those you were helping. Perhaps you were tired of raking leaves for the senior citizens, but your son pointed out how nice the yard looked when you were finished. Or maybe you dropped off some items at Goodwill and your daughter caught a glimpse of another child in the store eagerly picking out a gently used bicycle.

Here are some leading questions you can use to help your family reflect on your efforts, share personal experiences, perceptions and opinions about your efforts, and possibly offer a different perspective or unique point of view.

  • Who. Who did we help? Why did we choose to help here? Are others in the community engaged with these people/this group and how?
  • What. What did you do? What worked well? What went wrong? What was the impact? What can we do next?
  • Why? Why did we choose to help in this manner? Why did we select this group/person/etc.? Why would we like to do it again? Why would we choose not to do it again?
  • And lastly. Did we make a difference?

What other questions would you ask to aid in reflection? We’d love to hear your perspectives and experiences!

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