Designing for Generosity

[alaya_dropcap]S[/alaya_dropcap]mile! You’ll live longer. With his pay it forward attitude (讓愛傳出去), Mr. Nipun Mehta preached what he spoke by extolling the virtues of volunteerism and encouraging people around the world to participate in small acts of kindness and service. Mr. Mehta helped start Service Space, an incubator of projects that combine volunteering and technology to help people use the power of giftivism — The practice of radically generous acts that change the world. While not everyone can create radical generous acts, Mr. Mehta says that everyone can do small acts of kindness. These small act of generosity can create an inner-transformation in ourselves and others to promote the cycle of positivity.

This whole idea of giftivism came about when he asked himself what would happen if people decided to act selflessly, instead of selfishly. He wanted to see the power of generosity. He found out that when we honor small acts, it creates a synergy; Reciprocating and passing forward generosity becomes greater than the sum of its parts — or as he says it, 1+1= >2. To better explain his experience with people and generosity, he described its power in four parts:

1) Consumption to contribution: Appreciate what you receive, and pay it forward. We should get away from consumerism and consumption, and put more focus others.
2) Transaction to trust: We should rely on our interconnectedness. You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist. We should connect with more people in positive ways, and create more trust with others.
3) Isolation to community: Cultivate networks of gift ties. It’s not just about coming together, but how. By practicing generosity, we cultivate deeper ties and can bond with others by serving.
4) Scarcity to abundance: Experience the generative power of gratitude. We should have a mindset that there is enough for everyone. As the Gandhi quote goes, “there is enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed”. By giving some of your abundance to those who need it creates deeper ties with those around you.

If you would like to see his Tedx Speech about giftivism, please click on the link below:

NCCU, and I personally, would like to give many thanks for Mr. Mehta’s shiningly positive speech, and hope that his message is passed forward by the students at our university. If you ever run into one of his SMILE cards (shown below), be sure to pay it forward to make somebody’s day a little brighter!