James Mueller caring and generosity

Embrace the New Year with a Spirit of Generosity

The last few years have been fraught with loss for many of us. COVID alone has added to the stress, yet it is only part of the experience of loss during our lives. From the daily disappointments that color our lives to the loss of opportunity, the loss of family and friends, even the loss of hope, it is endemic to the experience of being human.

In the midst of loss in whatever form, whether a continuous stream or an abrupt wounding experience, we hold within ourselves an ability to move out from under the melancholy through acts of kindness giving to others.

In that spirit, I share my own learning as I captured in my journal published in Lyrics of a Broken Heart

The penalty of love is loss

Yet the feeling of loss, with its unfathomable depths

Can be transmuted through the act of generosity

The loss becomes a gift

The gift plus the grace afforded by time

Is a healing balm to all who are touched by it

I wish you all a healthy and happy new year with the knowledge that you can experience happiness even in the midst of loss by giving to others.

Excerpt from Lyrics of a Broken Heart

“For me, the intimate connection between love and loss is intense. The two are inseparable. If I open myself to love, I open myself to loss. One day, as we were getting off the elevator at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, a mother with two children in tow simply said, “I wish we were getting off at the third floor.” I was a bit puzzled until my wife said, “She is headed up to pediatric intensive care and oncology.” Her pain, disappointment, and sorrow were all captured in a few simple words. As she disappeared behind the elevator doors my hope was that she might find support and solace.

“A few months after Luke passed we found a way to provide support and solace to others, and along the way discovered something quite remarkable: we could transmute the nature of loss into something restorative. I wrote “Love, Loss, Generosity” for the dedication of a fund we, and many generous friends, established at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital. Scores of people attended, a recognition of Luke’s impact on our community. The purpose of the fund was to provide support to children and their families who were facing serious illness. Through making this contribution our loss became a gift to help others; it was a powerful healing balm. And now Luke’s legacy would live on to help other families as they faced similar circumstances.”

AUTHOR - James Mueller

Jim Mueller is president of James Mueller & Associates LLC (JMA), a national consulting firm that provides services in the areas of organizational development, governance, and philanthropy. Follow Jim on LinkedIn.