The Power of Sharing

The Power of Sharing

by Roberta Grace, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

In these "new normal" times we find more people in need and struggling to get by with less. To help ease the strain, it's imperative that we pay heed to the idea of "giving what we can" more than ever. Here's one reason why.

In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences researchers from the University of California, San Diego and Harvard provided the first laboratory evidence that cooperative behavior is contagious and that it spreads from person to person to person. When people benefit from kindness they "pay it forward" by helping others who were not originally involved, and this creates a cascade of cooperation that influences dozens more in a social network.

The act of giving results in more giving which is helpful to everyone. Being positive and kind is scientifically proven to have a beneficial influence on society. A study done by The Human Thriving Foundation found that random acts of kindness is one of the specific human behaviors that leads to happiness.

So what's an artisan/beader/craftsperson/jewelry-designer to do? Simple answer. Share your love of jewelry making in as many ways as possible. There's no need to wait for a random impulse. Start by making "deliberate acts of kindness" list, and commit to accomplishing at least one item on the list this year. Here's a start.
  • Surprise someone you love with an unexpected handmade jewelry gift
  • Donate your jewelry items to community fundraisers
  • Mentor someone in your craft. This could be an at-risk youth, someone with special needs, a lonely shut-in, etc.
  • Send a handmade jewelry gift to the people who've made a difference in your life such as a school teacher, family friend, babysitter, minister, co-worker, etc.
  • Volunteer to teach a jewelry-making class at your local community center
  • When someone admires a piece of jewelry you're wearing, give it to them and suggest they do something similar in kind to "pay it forward"
  • Participate in programs like to support breast cancer research and awareness. (View the Charities section of the Fire Mountain Gems website for many more charity options)
All these options and more are a "win-win-win." You get to do more of what you love, and the recipients of your generosity will feel a sense of gratitude that will then spread to others.

Giving back to your community in this way will inspire others to do the same. There are over 100 "Giving Back to our Communities" stories on the Fire Mountain Gems website. Take a few moments to read how other jewelry makers have used their skills to support valuable causes that are dear to their hearts. Together we can truly make a positive difference in uniting the world one bead at a time!

Additional Resources ...

Customer Comments

We would like to share some of the customer comments we received in response to the article "The Power of Sharing," as featured in an email newsletter. Please keep in mind that the comments expressed below are those of our customers and do not reflect the views of Fire Mountain Gems and Beads.

"Love this article. I believe it is true and think the world is a better place due to the kindness we receive and can show others."
- Mary

"This isn't a question but a comment or feedback on the particular newsletter. It's funny, as a younger woman I didn't understand "Pay It Forward," or Random Acts of Kindness, until it touched me personally. Over the years, I have been a true believer in having a giving attitude. The study in this newsletter said you just feel better when you give, or teach or volunteer or are the receiver of a kindness. I can truly say, the study is correct. I make it a mission to, at least once a year, donate either my own designed handmade jewelry or crocheted animals or blankies for newborns ... Some recipients have been:
  • Make A Wish Foundation
  • Children's Hospital of South Carolina
  • NICU Department At Local Hospitals
I don't really get to see the immediate appreciation, but knowing I did give something makes me energized. This year will be angel earrings and pendants given to The Make A Wish Foundation in my area of South Carolina. Most of the supplies, of course have been from the best suppliers I've found on the Web. Thanks for the article, the warm feeling, and the anticipated warm and fuzzies for the upcoming event ..."
- Chris P.

"I thoroughly enjoyed your article regarding "Paying It Forward." I do this on an occasion and wish that others would do the same. I give extra items to my customers on a regular basis. I always add "Made with Love" hearts to my jewelry pieces before I send them out. Just to make my gifts and their purchases special to them as well as to me. I love to give and have given my pieces away that have been admired while I was wearing them many times. And the joy I see in their eyes is enough for me. I hope to read more positive article such as this one in the newsletter often. Sincerely,"
- Deborah

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