A Season of Giving
“Giving thanks is one course from which we never graduate.” ~ Valerie Adams
It has been studied and reported over and over that having a practice of giving and gratitude can change the world in so many ways. It can change your individual world, in the way that you see things and others, and open up a spiritual awareness and energy that is so desperately needed in our lives. It can change the world around you, through your actions and impact on others in your community.
Just for a moment, let’s look at the difference between giving and gratitude. I am wondering if this is a kind of “chicken and the egg” dilemma, as to which comes first. It seems that we find it easier to focus on gratitude because that is what we have received and is abundant in even the unnoticed everyday gifts of the universe – air and water, earth and sky. We create gratitude lists and keep gratitude journals as a practice of acknowledgment for all that we have received.
But what about the giving? It seems we have a harder time in giving in the same measure as we receive. What does giving look like? What does it require? It can start with something as simple as a smile. Try this simple experiment – consciously, intentionally, and genuinely smile at, at least one person for the next week and note the responses you get. Next, try giving genuine praise to someone, either family, friend, or co-worker. Genuine praise is specific – not just a “great job” but describe exactly what was great about it and/or how they had an impact on you or others. If you aren’t quite ready to do it verbally and face-to-face, start with a praise note on a nice card.
Your giving will encourage others to open up their talent banks and begin to give of themselves. Help them realize that this is one bank that cannot be overdrawn.
I will leave you with some pearls of wisdom on giving…
“The human contribution is the essential ingredient. It is only in the giving of oneself to others that we truly live.” ~ Ethel Percy Andrus
“I like to give my energy to activities that affirm the oneness of humankind.” ~ Claire Randall
Until next time…