Monday, June 6, 2011

Law 6: Charity - Giving What Only You Can Give

Making Monday

The sixth Law of Making, the third of the Laws of Living, is, "True making is an embodiment of charity."

When I say, "charity," the thing that most likely comes to mind is donating to a worthy cause. It's not bad for an initial association, and we'll start with giving even though charity in all its senses is a much broader and more profound topic.

A large part of the charity of makers is being willing to give what only you can give. A gift that is the product of your time and effort means more because you made it. A hand-written note or well-crafted email means more because of the time you devoted to it.

I'm sure you've heard the claim that there are only three (or five, or seven, or twelve) basic stories. Assuming that's true, why is there such demand for storytellers? Because while we may have heard this kind of story before, we haven't heard it the way you tell it.

As we focus on your unique gifts, beware of ego-centric misunderstanding: This isn't about being God's gift to the world, but about being willing to share what you can do without worrying what you'll get out of it.

The Shaker's motto, "Hands to work, hearts to God," sums up all the ways in which they practiced the charity of the makers and made their lives a prayer.

Making is an act of charity because you give some of yourself when you make.

Image: Bill Longshaw /

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