Giving. It’s simple really. And I believe one of the greatest gifts.
A gift is defined as the transfer of something without the expectation of receiving something in return.
What the definition doesn’t define is how healing, healthy, and enlightening giving can be. Giving doesn’t have to be money or goods – it can be but is not exclusively these things. Giving can be, and I think is best when it’s of yourself. When giving your love, understanding, patience or simply time, you make the greatest impact. Not only for the recipient but also for yourself.
Ralf Waldo Emerson states, ‘The only gift is a portion of thyself.’ An amazing gift, yes.
I also think the greatest gift to oneself, is the giving of one’s self to others.
As the definition states, giving is without the expectation of receiving, and it is. You don’t expect anything in return, but the reality, the truth is that you always benefit even if it is simply the knowledge that you did the right thing. And the sense of well-being that comes with that knowledge has value; value towards your health, your sense of self, and contentment.
Karl Reiland states, “In about the same degree as you are helpful, you will be happy.’ And when giving is sincere, you will find this to be true.
Giving is powerful and often starts a waterfall of generosity from one to another and so on. To start with a ripple of kindness, of generosity, and have that ‘giving’ build momentum whether qualitatively in one, or quantitatively through many is a kind of miracle. And one that I think should be fostered in all of us.
Edwin Hubbel Chapin, one of the leading Universalist ministers in the 19th century, has a quote I find significant. He said, ‘Every action in our lives touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity.’
His words are a good reminder; be mindful of your actions and choose them with love and compassion for yourself and those around you. The effects of what we do may last a lifetime, so ‘do’ with a giving heart.