by Kathie England

Being a Contribution

“Being a Contribution” is one of the twelve practices introduced in The Art of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander. This book is one of my all-time favorites. I’ve decided I want to reread it every year to maintain the perspectives and the practices they propose.

The practice pf “Being a Contribution” invites us to ask each morning, “How will I be a contribution today?”

The Zanders propose that we play the game of contribution each day. When we see ourselves as a contribution, we shift from the context of survival into the context of seeing opportunities for growth – growth for ourselves and others.

They suggest we take these two steps each day:

1.         “Declare yourself to be a contribution.”

2.         “Throw yourself into life as someone who makes a difference, accepting that you may not understand how or why.”

They believe “the contribution game appears to have remarkable powers for transforming conflicts into rewarding experiences.”

“It’s never a single individual who is transformed. Transformation overrides the divisions of identity and possession that are the architecture of the measurement model, recasting the tight pattern of scarcity into a widespread array of abundance.”

Additional steps to begin to see ourselves as a contribution include writing down how we have contributed over the past week. They encourage jotting down anything we have said or done that we are willing to call a contribution. (I think this practice is a great example of embracing the power of small steps!)

Shortly after I had reread Chapter 4 Being a Contribution, I read the words that President Biden spoke at the recent NATO Conference in Vilnius, Lithuania. He said, “Every day, we have a choice to make. Every day, we must summon the strength to stand for what is right, to stand for what is true, to stand for freedom, to stand together.”

By making this choice we are “Being a Contribution!”

I invite you to buy a copy of The Art of Possibility for yourself and a copy for someone else. This action exemplifies “Being a Contribution.”