Posted on November 28, 2011 by Katie Jeanes
This is not one of those, “shun the materialistic values of the holidays” rants. I am all for the giving of things. I love finding the perfect present, finding an extra fifty dollars for a charity, and I have a shameless collection of fabulous shoes which I lovingly gave to myself.
Giving is about more than that though. It’s like Oprah says, “I don’t think you ever stop giving. I really don’t. I think it’s an on-going process. And it’s not just about being able to write a check. It’s being able to touch somebody’s life.”
Yes, the giving of things opens doors and provide the tools necessary to achieve audacious goals. But what’s bigger than that, is how giving can unite people. Giving something to someone means that you care about that person enough to give a little piece of yourself to them. Money, things, time, whatever the gift is, it is a part of you that when given, connects you with the recipient. This is where the magic happens. It is the act of giving that makes the difference. It truly is the thought that counts.
Broke? Busy? Don’t think you have anything to give?
Gifts do not have to be big. In fact, the small ones usually have the biggest impact. Maybe it’s spending time with a friend who needs you. Maybe it’s calling home to see how your parents are doing. Maybe it’s as simple as letting someone merge in front of you. The nice thing about small gifts is you can give them every day.
If you’re still stuck on what to give, consider this:
Everyone has something to give. That thing you do inherently well. The thing that you love to do. The thing that you eat, sleep and breathe. That’s your gift. Give it.
If you live/love to paint, then paint! Create art to share with the world and give beauty to everyone who sees it. If you feel the same way about accounting, then that works too! Give the gift of sanity and bountiful tax returns to your wonderful clients. The gift here, more than anything, is that you are honoring your calling. It liberates others to search for their own meaning, do what they love to do and chase down their dreams. Sure, what you are doing is easy for you, so you might not think it’s a big deal. But for the recipient, you sharing your gift is like being the first person to bungee jump. You jump, the rope doesn’t break, and you have the adrenalin rush of your life while making sure it’s safe for others to follow. It’s a big deal.
Whether you give a million dollars to charity or the free coffee on your loyalty card to the person behind you in line, giving is contagious. Chances are that whoever receives your gift will start looking for ways that they can give too. Who knows, maybe the effect of your gift will come back to you one day. Karma is neat like that.
Give big, small. Give one, give all.