This is not exactly the “Season of Giving” yet but I have been very inspired by the generosity I have seen lately. These difficult times have brought out the best in some people and it has me thinking of the “giving” that occurs on both sides of a gift.
Giving to others is really a gift to ourself. One of the best feelings we can have is the positive feeling when we give a gift that makes someone else happy. The joy felt by the other person transcends to us and we benefit from the giving. Hopefully, this act of kindness will inspire the person to “pay it forward” but this should not be a prerequisite for our giving. Likewise, we should never expect the other person to reciprocate. When we give, we need to do it with an open heart and mind. In doing this, we will experience the true joy in the giving.
“No one has ever become poor by giving.”Anne Frank
Most often gift giving comes from the fact that we want to express our love or concern to someone we care about. But the best gifts aren’t always the ones that cost the most money. Sometimes the best gift can be a phone call or text to a person who is feeling lonely or sad. By recognizing someone’s need, you are giving a gift that money cannot buy.
There are also the gifts we give each other when we choose to have a happy, peaceful demeanor instead of letting the daily stresses overtake us. When I choose to smile and remain calm in a stressful situation at work, I am giving a gift to my coworkers that actually is a gift to myself. I have seen this in action and it amazes me how my peaceful reactions have the power to deflate the stress in another person, but even more-so in myself.
“I have found that among other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.”Maya Angelou
One of the best gifts we can give someone else is the gift of our time. There are so many people, especially during this pandemic, who are alone and would appreciate a little of our attention if we see them in our neighborhood or store. Just a smile and a “Hello, how are you doing?” Has the power to brighten someone’s day. Taking the minute to speak to someone who is lonely or sad has the power to transform a person’s life. This is a gift for both of you.
True happiness is found in giving of ourselves to others. Some ideas of little gifts you can give to others:
- Leave your spouse a love note
- Compliment your coworker
- Let that impatient driver cut in front of you
- Bring a treat to a lonely neighbor
- Smile (even with the mask, people can see it in your eyes)
“I must be willing to give whatever it takes to do good to others. This requires that I be willing to give until it hurts. Otherwise, there is no true love in me, and I bring injustice, not peace, to those around me.”Mother Teresa
Think creatively and carefully about some ways you can gift yourself in giving to others. Open your heart and the opportunities will present themselves to you.