Economic Crisis Getting You Down? Try Generosity


By Mary Jaksch

The daily news is depressing: more people out of work; more people hungry; more people in despair.

An instinctive response would be to hunker down and look after number one. Yes, you could do that, and in doing so you would fan your fears and feelings of insecurity.

There is another way to respond: instead of holding tight to what we have, we can be generous to those in need.

In that way we open our tight fist and offer a helping hand to others. What happens when we do that?

We feel uplifted, and connected – and even happy!

Please watch the inspiring video below. You’ll see that generosity is not limited by poverty. In a TED talk, Jacqueline Novogratz tells a moving story of an encounter in a Nairobi slum with Jane, a former prostitute, whose dreams of escaping poverty, of becoming a doctor and of getting married were fulfilled in an unexpected way.

I was very moved by this video. And it gave me an idea. What if we join our helping hands, here at Goodlife ZEN, and make a real difference to peoples’ lives?

There is a wonderful way in which we can help people to help themselves. I have joined Kiva, the microlending

I want to invite you to join me and become a microlender at Kiva, a non-profit that allows you to lend as little as $25 to a specific low-income entrepreneur in the developing world.

You choose who to lend to – whether a baker in Afghanistan, a goat herder in Uganda, a farmer in Peru, a restaurateur in Cambodia, or a tailor in Iraq – and as they repay their loan, you get your money back.
Here is someone I’m supporting:

Ndaga Beye MBAYE is a married woman who sells jewelry and ready-to-wear clothing for children in Diourbel, a small rural city located 150 km from Dakar, the capital of Sénégal. This is her first loan. She’s going to use it to replenish her stock of merchandise in order to serve her customers better in the area. She supports her family with her enterprise.

The loan request is $325 and $75 has been raised so far. $250 is still needed. Maybe we could manage that all together?

To join, click on the Kiva banner in the sidebar.

What do you think about my idea?

Photo by Ferdinand Reus

About the author

Mary Jaksch

Mary is passionate about helping people create a happy, purposeful, and fulfilling life. She is the founder of GoodlifeZEN and also the brains behind, one of the biggest blogs for writers on the Net. Mary is also a Zen Master, a mother, and a 5th Degree Black Belt.


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