Personal activism

Earlier today I spoke with an incredible woman who's spent most of her career as an activist, working in nonprofits. Her work helped a lot of people, but it didn't exactly earn her a lot of money. But worse, after a while the constant attempt to right the world's wrongs got under her skin. It got depressing! She's not giving up her activism, not by far, but she is trying to find a way to balance it with a passion that's all about her — her photography.

This got me to thinking about the need to balance altruism and self interest in our lives. But unlike my friend, most of us tend to lean too far toward self-interest, just because our own little circle seems to consume every minute. We lose perspective.

One way to keep yourself in balance is to constantly find new ways to be generous to the people you come in contact with. Doing good can start with one person at a time - a phone call answered, a referral given, a kind word or a bright smile. There's no better way to broaden your horizons than by extending a hand to someone new in your life.

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