My grandmother was born in 1901. As a child, I remember her telling me that there weren’t many men around after World War I and so it was quite a long time before she met my grandfather and started a family. Perhaps this is the reason why she was so hard working and made sacrifices to ensure that her family was always very well cared for. Not only did she care for her own family, she was always looking out for other, less fortunate, people in the community. She was not rich by today’s standards however she had enormous wealth, which she shared with everyone she knew. I’m proud to say that I’ve only ever met people that loved and respected my grandmother. People that have told me stories of how she helped them. People who were happy to call her their Aunt, their Mother or their Grandmother, even though they are in no way related to our family. By the way, my grandmother was no Saint. She had an absolutely wicked sense of humour and with a twinkle in her eye she would regularly remind my grandfather that she’d only married him because of the dire shortage of men after the war. She died when she was 94 and was only ever married once. I guess this says it all. An absolutely remarkable woman!
A few months ago I met Jeroen Timmers during a business meeting. A young man, with a great job and a brilliant career ahead of him. When I launched my blog, Jeroen emailed me and said “When I get back from my travels (which is rather soon as I fly out of San Jose to Amsterdam tomorrow!), I too have some audacious plans within the realm of ´giving´ and ´changing the world.'” A few weeks ago, he launched ‘Giving is all we have’, a platform for everyone that intends transforming our money-based economy to a society that thrives on gifting. Jeroen started the chain by gifting his own Lowlands concert ticket to a complete stranger. Not because he couldn’t attend; he loves Lowlands and never misses a concert; but because he thought it necessary to do so.
If you’re as curious as I am about Jeroen’s activities or you would like to do some gifting of your own, Jeroen is looking for some help with his website. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, do you have any ground-breaking ideas on how to change the society we live in? Send your ideas to email@example.com.
What makes individuals like my grandmother, the many people before her and Jeroen and many generations to come, carry out selfless, unconditional acts of charity? If only I could crack this code, I would bottle the DNA and sprinkle it generously around the globe.
Let’s help Jeroen make waves!