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Cultivating Kindness
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In recent years Oprah Winfrey has given her studio audiences new cars, paid off their debts and provided gifts that many had only dreamed of. Recently she decided to distribute gifts that keep “giving back."

According to Reuters, “Winfrey gave more than 300 audience members $1,000 debit cards sponsored by the Bank of America to donate to a charitable cause.” 1

The money was given with the stipulations that it had to be given away (to people other than relatives), or invested in some charitable cause. Audience members also received DVD cameras to record their stories for future broadcasts.

Winfrey receives so much joy from giving her wealth away, she wanted her audience to experience what it was like.

This unique activity has been tried in some churches. When offering plate came by, instead of putting money in, members were asked to take some out and invest it in acts of kindness. Then, they were asked to come back at a future time to share how it went. I’ve never heard any of the follow-up reports, but I’m sure they were quite interesting!

Family Affair

If you still have children at home, why not try this with them? It may not work as well with smaller children, but 10-15 year-olds may really like it.

The idea of sharing and giving is an important principle for both children and adults to learn. The great thing about this activity is that it focuses our attention on others and gives us the opportunity to cultivate attitudes of generosity.

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By Rich DuBose. Copyright © 2006 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

1 http://today.reuters.com/news/home.aspx

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