Fred Lawrence Feldman

How to Save the World on $5 a Day
Excerpt from Chapter 7: "Charitable Lifeline"

"How can changing the attitude of just one kid make a difference?" John shook his head. "I mean, there's so much hatred in the world…"

Annette smiled. "Just because I can't solve all the world's problems doesn't mean I can't solve some of them. More to the point, not being able to fix everything doesn't absolve me of the moral obligation to fix what I can."

She took John's hand. "Your lifeline runs across your palm, right? It's supposed to represent your physical vitality. In a similar way, I think that crease across your palm also symbolizes your Charitable Lifeline. It represents our spiritual vitality and the state of our connectivity to the world."

John forced himself to focus on what she was saying. It felt really nice to have her holding his hand. "Everybody knows that being connected to others is a good thing when it comes to work and social life," Annette continued. "Connectivity is paramount in one's spiritual life as well. Your Charitable Lifeline runs like this…"

From left to right on John's palm, Annette tapped the progression:

"Generosity → Giving → Positive action→ Gratitude →Satisfaction"

"I think I get it," John said. "I get myself in a mindset where I feel generous… then I give.

Maybe I give money or of myself in some way, like volunteering. Next, I get an emotional charge from taking a positive action. And when I receive the gratitude of whoever it was I helped, I feel satisfaction, the way Kanbun felt gratified to firsthand witness the transformation his act of giving brought about for your grandfather, Hector."

"That's right," Annette said. "Those steps along the Charitable Lifeline get you connected to yourself, to the person you helped, and to the world – provided you invest yourself by savoring the experience and paying full attention to your giving." She released John's hand, much to his sorrow. "You can travel the path of the Charitable Lifeline and experience its benefits by involving yourself in any charity you choose, whether it benefits people close to home or those halfway around the world… All it takes is being fully aware and attentive during your moments of giving."

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