A Contemporary Model November 13 2009

I've been contemplating the concept of "giving" recently, wondering out loud what it truly means to give. I've researched the wisdom of men and women of history and found sage advice. One of my favorite wise men, Albert Einstein, states that "the value of a man resides in what he gives and not in what he is capable of receiving." Winston Churchill was quoted as saying, "we make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give." And Anne Frank noted that "no one has ever become poor by giving." But what I am really looking for is a contemporary model of what it truly looks like to "give". At the end of my search I've found myself examining a humble granny from South Africa named Mrs. Tshabalala (pronounced Cha ba la la) who has been diligently working for Beaded Hope for over 3 years. The fact that she creates beautiful beCheck out Mrs. Tshabalala's beadworkadwork and is always a joy to work with (despite the fact that we don't speak the same language) is not what makes her a model of giving. It is what Mrs. Tshabalala does quietly behind the scene that is truly amazing. You see, Mrs. Tshabalala lives in a typical poor neighborhood and has worked her entire life to provide for herself and her family by making and selling beadwork at an open air market at the Pretoria Zoo. Traveling from her home to her booth, selling her work at the booth and creating new beadwork made for long, tedious days for Mrs. Tshabalala. But when she began to notice young children roaming the streets, orphaned by a virus, she took action. Mrs. Tshabalala opened her home to children who had nowhere to go. She gave them food. She even began to teach them beadworking skills so that one day they can take care of themselves. Mrs. Tshabalala would never tell you that she gives so generously to these orphaned children. Instead she quietly, humbly continues doing her beadwork and giving the best way she can. Thank you, Mrs. Tshabalala, for modeling giving for me. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

You can check out Mrs. Tshabalala's beadwork here.