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Coronavirus Proves That We Are Natural Givers, Not Takers

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead

Giving Tuesday normally falls in November, amid the holiday season and when our inherent values are celebrated and giving comes naturally.

The novel Coronavirus has ensured that nothing is normal anymore; not working, not living, not giving.

Prior to the COVID-19 era, we could have mistakenly believed that we were natural-born takers, meant to take as much as possible from the world. And, maybe once a year, on Giving Tuesday, we do the unnatural (yet righteous) thing of giving back to those in need.

The epidemic has changed our perception and revealed our true natural selves. We are not born takers. We are born givers.

In a world turned upside down, the upside of humanity has shined forth. In a world of social distancing, social goodness has brought us all closer. In a world with virtually no bankable equity, people everywhere have done the equitable thing.

When the virus has taken so much from us, we have given so much more.

People have given their time and volunteered their expertise. People have given food, clothing, inspiration.

And people have given their hard earned dollars in support of those less-fortunate, those struggling, those fighting on the front lines, and those victimized by this devastating virus.

Coronavirus has proven that we are natural-born givers. For us, taking is unnatural.

In the “normal” times of pre-COVID living, we had the luxury of overthinking, which often distracts from our true selves. We mistakenly began to believe that it’s all about how much I can compile, and not how much I can distribute.

Paradoxically, being forced to shelter-at-home and limit our physical action has led us to remember to just act on the basic human instinct to give.

Hence, Giving Tuesday Now, which reminds us that giving isn’t reserved only for the holidays. Every day is a giving day. Every Tuesday is a giving Tuesday. Because every moment we are giving people.

At Charidy we make it easy for people to give and we stir them to act. 

Every day we help Americans look outside of themselves to band together for the greater good. Our “Behind the Mask” campaign has seen over $64 million raised in support of frontline workers and COVID-19 victims, including nearly $48 million to the CDC Foundation alone. As I’ve written elsewhere, “Americans will always choose generosity even in scarcity!”

Inspired by The Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, I grew up with the belief that Tzedakah — righteous acts of lovingkindness — does more for the giver than the recipient. This is because it reveals the giver’s natural instinct to give.

It’s one thing to grow up believing something. It is quite another to actually experience it.

Today, on Giving Tuesday Now, I am experiencing it in real time. Just as I experienced it yesterday, and will experience it tomorrow.

Today — now! — we reveal our inherent humanity, together! Get up, give to someone, give to something, give now and change the world forever.

More personally: give now and reveal your true giving self.

Yehuda Gurwitz is the CEO of Charidy.com, the world’s leading crowdfunding platform for charities, whose mission is to empower every individual to create a better world.

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