Memorial Day is about remembering soldiers that gave their lives to protect the United States. It is also about remembering the service men and women that are currently on post. We rely on their commitment and dedication. Many of us take it for granted. Many Americans simply feel that these men and women get paid a salary and are merely doing the job their getting paid to do. But, how many civilians are getting paid to put their lives on the line? They are giving of themselves in a manner which is much much more than some folks give them credit for.
In general, it is so important for all of us to give “before” we need something in return. I recently read an article about Social Debt by Mark Synek. Mark wrote that social debt “is the act of doing something valuable for someone without being asked…a way of making yourself memorable to your connections”. Mark’s article “What if you lose your job?” emphasized the importance of doing valuable things for your connections before you may need them. It’s important for job hunters and for business owners who are engaged in business development.
It’s common sense and many of us were taught this when we were children. But, I’m amazed at the fact that few adults make time to do it.
Here are three (3) ways you can give back and pay your Social Debt:
- I volunteer with charitable organizations. For example, I help the Pullman Foundation because they gave me an undergraduate scholarship and they help underprivileged youth who live in the community I went to high school in. I review scholarship application essays for them. It takes a few hours of my time.
- I have done free webinars and seminars for women and minority small business owners on business topics like the “Misclassification Misdeed: Hiring Employees vs. Independent Contractors”, strategic planning, government contracting and intellectual property.
- I share content online about past history and free business development tips. Some have asked me, “why do you keep cranking out the content when you’re not getting paid to do it?” Well, I’ve been told that it’s helpful, thought provoking, etc. I benefit from content that others’ share and this inspires me to share my thoughts and information that I come across. I spend a few hours on Sunday scheduling posts. NPR radio recently aired a piece about how online tools are being developed to sell online content for pennies or fractions of a penny – –millicents. Some believe that folks should pay for content sharing on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. I believe we should open our hearts and be willing to share since it helps build relationships.
When you give, people remember – – or at least they should remember your acts of kindness. This Memorial Day, we need to be sure to (1) remember our soldiers and (2) remember to give back in any way we can big or small!
Clovia Hamilton, President