The Power of Giving: How Giving Back Enriches Us All Paperback – Deckle Edge, Oct 1 2009
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About the Author
Azim Jamalis is an inspirational speaker who has delivered talks on five continents, as well as the author of several books on spirituality and life balance. A former professional accountant, Jamal decided to devote himself to giving after a life-changing experience volunteering in the developing world.
Harvey McKinnon is a fundraising expert, speaker, and documentary-film producer, as well as the author of several books. After a decade working with the international development agency Oxfam Canada, he founded the fundraising consultancy firm Harvey McKinnon Associates.
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Top Customer Reviews
If you want to find meaning, fulfillment, and happiness in your life then this book can help you find that and more! Each of us in our own lives faces life situations where we perhaps lose faith in the world and see nothing positive - we are constantly bombarded with disturbing world events, natural disasters, and life-threatening diseases and we perhaps lose all hope...this book reminds us that we each hold the power to create change and impact.
This book will resonate with your innate desire to bring sunshine in the lives of our neighbours. God has given each of us this ability and power to give of our innate gifts and blessings - Don't wait any longer, spread the word and act now!
If you enjoyed the movie, "Pay it forward" then this book is a winner!
Pay it forward by sharing the power of giving with others....
Nejeed Kassam is the founder and chairman of the international NGO End Poverty Now.
It just makes you look at things in a different way and makes you want to live your life in a more positive way.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I bought this book when it was first released and read it in one sitting. It's filled with great stories that carried me from idea to idea, and, as the cliché goes, "I just couldn't put it down".
After I'd done, I spent days thinking about the many ways in which I could be a better giver. And I started down my Power of Giving path by actually buying three more copies and sending then to my mom, my sister and my best friend.
It's been over a year since I bought and read The Power of Giving but the key message that "the more you give, the more you receive" has been proven time and time again in my own experience, since I started to pay attention to both what I can give with intention and what the world is giving back to me.
I've thought of their lessons (which by the way, are shared in a fun, sometimes humorous, but never earnest way) when my clients ask for more than what they're paying me for... and the results have been only positive for my business.
I've applied the wisdom shared by Jamal and McKinnon in the way I deal with my ex-husband and my new partner's ex-wife - and the results are clearly more productive than my previous way of handling difficult situations with these two people!
And yes, I have applied The Power of Giving to my annual giving, having made two donations that prior to reading the book I never would have considered. Why? Because I didn't feel I could afford that much money (both were for $500 and only one generated a tax receipt). But with the spirit of The Power of Giving in my mind, I took the leap of faith and made the donations. And you know what? At year end I didn't miss the $1,000. But I feel fantastic about the great work that my money has helped accomplish in a cancer care facility and in a rural village where women are now running micro-businesses to help support their families.
I highly recommend this book. It's such a small investment to make and the returns are incalculable.
Creating abundance, for example, can mean joining a babysitting co-op, thereby affording busy parents a bit of time for themselves. Though elsewhere in the book it's evident that the authors, professional fundraisers Jamal and McKinnon, work with very high-income donors indeed, this book is for EveryCitizen. The authors intersperse funny personal stories from their own lives with poignant vignettes, quotes of wisdom from the ancients, helpful web links, and so forth.
One can feel sick at heart and powerless to do anything effective about huge disasters like hurricanes, or gang violence, or homelessness in a rich country - or even about "smaller" problems in the neighbourhood. American Trappist poet and social activist Thomas Merton captured this malaise well: "To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything, is to succumb to the violence of our times."
Jamal and McKinnon have spectacularly not "succumbed to the violence of our times."
Each page seems to have been written with love and laughter. Even though all my life I've donated time and money to various causes; have worked as a fundraiser for non-profits; and know the many benefits of giving, I love this book because it's an invitation to everyone - not just the fundraisers - to experience the happiness and the health we create - and the meaningful relationships we build - when reach out to others.
The subtle design of the book helps you slow down a bit, taking pleasure in the relaxing act of turning the well-printed pages... of considering how the next idea might play out in one's own circle of friends.
This immensely compassionate book could make an eye-opening and inviting gift for anyone in your life - including the friend who "has everything."
"The Power of Giving" is a spiritual awakening, but it is also a sensible and practical guide to the many possibilites and methods of giving. Azim and Harvey teach us that "giving" is more about loving than anything else. Giving inspires us to get outside of ourselves and to have an increased awareness of "the other". The authors encourage us to give what we can whether it be time, money, acts of kindness or gentle touches. Thankyou Harvey and Azim for giving us your book.
WHAT I LIKED: The authors did a good job of categorizing different kinds of giving and pointing out that there's more than just a couple ways to give. Most people think charitable giving is about giving time and/or money, but the authors did a good job of pointing out additional types of giving and challenged the reader to consider giving in some way shape or form. One of the best pieces of information in the book was pointing out that giving a certain percentage (like 10%) may be difficult when you're making less money, but it'll be even more difficult when you're making a lot of money unless you've conditioned yourself to give early on.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: Despite how it's advertised, there isn't a lot of "practical advice" or in-depth strategies in this book other than a cursory, "Here's an idea. Have you considered that before?" Also, even though this book was a brisk 189 pages, it seems like the authors didn't have enough to say to fill the pages. The book's basic premise is that you should give because it helps other people and makes you feel good... and it doesn't offer much more than variants of that same message, over and over. The element of the book I found most irksome, though, was that easily half the examples in this book are examples of the authors' own charitable deeds and successes. It seems to me that - after a lengthy introduction extolling their own accomplishments - it's a little narcissistic to constantly write about one's own accomplishments as an example of ideal behavior. I have to think that the authors could have found plenty of examples to promote and illustrate others' accomplishments rather than their own.
Overall, I'm conflicted about this book. On the one hand, embracing the idea of becoming a culture more focused on giving and less focused on taking is an incredibly important message, and the book does provide a couple of tidbits of information that could be helpful for those who are just dipping a toe into the giving pool or are looking for different ways to perform charitable acts. But the execution was definitely lacking and left me feeling a little disappointed that such an important message wasn't presented better.
1) It gives a wider definition of giving and envisioned me for learning to give beyond money. When I think of all the opportunities of giving I have throughout my daily life, I started living more fullfiling days. There are so many opportunities everyday for giving a smile, a compliment, valuable knowledge...Giving and sharing, thus serving, helping each other is part of purpose. It's great to be reminded this and shown the way.
2) I have read so many books on personal development, self-help etc. Of course it is vital to know what you want in life, learning to manage your thoughts, thinking positive, keeping a high motivation etc. But very few books talks about the actual POWER of giving. Giving truely creates a POWER within, it makes you feel more abundant, more connected, definetly much better.
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