What’s your balance?

I don’t mean your physical balance, although that is important, what I am asking about today is your “credit” in the accounts of worthy organizations. Things such as your volunteer activities, your kids’ school, your place of worship. What I find (more so at the holidays) is that many of you make great deposits and have a lot of credit with good organizations. Although that is a worthy endeavor, I just want to make sure that those who need you the most are not short changed.

Suzanne Bates wrote in a recent column that, “If you already have credit “in the bank” with volunteer events and community organizations, you don’t need to keep making deposits…”

I completely agree and I’ll take it one step further—instead of making deposits in things and organizations that will forget you over time, would you consider making deposits in the lives of those you claim to love and for whose well-being you are responsible? A consideration that is especially important at this season of Thanksgiving.

Yikes, today is going to be a tough love lesson. Don’t worry, if you get it right you’ll find more lasting joy and make memories for a lifetime, it all depends on where you choose to make your deposits. I know community groups will not be happy with me today but I also know that others who do not volunteer can fill in the gap you leave. Remember that power is a vacuum and if you step aside someone else who has little to no credit with volunteer events and community organizations can and will fill in the space. And good for them, it’s their turn to be giving back.

But not you. No, you’ve done enough – really you have.. So now as you’re winding down for the holiday season and as you plan the new year, it’s time to take a zero-based approach to accepting events and volunteer activities.