by Jonathan on December 22, 2009
Give from the heart
Giving is big business right now, so let’s look a little closer at the whole concept of giving. Once you back away from the commercial aspect of giving, what comes to mind? Could it be that people are spending a fortune on giving and still missing the point?
The wisest man who ever lived said: “There is more happiness in giving than in receiving.” Do you believe in this principle? If so, then perhaps you have wondered what kind of giving is the most valuable. What kind of giving really produces that deep sense of happiness that eclipses receiving?
Giving that has real value
The kind of giving that provides real value does not go on sale at the end of the year. In fact, it’s not even for sale. You can’t put a price tag on it, nor can it be mass produced. And it certainly doesn’t require gift wrapping. Not that I have a problem with gift giving, because I don’t. I just know that the concept of real giving cannot be commercialized.
Let’s consider a few avenues of giving that can bring a sense of joy and satisfaction beyond the retailers bottom line.
1) Honesty. When you give others the gift of being honest with them, you honor them while honoring yourself. The world is full of smoke and mirrors. Everyone is on the lookout for deception. What a precious gift honesty is in the midst of so much dishonesty. To be honest with others requires that you be honest with yourself. What an incredible and far reaching gift honesty is!
2) Respect. Everyone on the planet wants to be treated with respect. And what usually happens when you give someone the gift of respect? Most of the time, it is returned to you. Doesn’t it make you happy when someone treats you respectfully? So giving respect is a great way to experience the true happiness of giving.
3) Openness. By this I mean allowing others access to the real you. It’s the opposite of guarded or reticent. When you give the gift of openness, you make yourself receptive to inquiries, suggestions, or ideas. It means being willing to relate to the other person in a way that goes beyond impersonal small talk. Openness can provide the basis for new opportunities and relationships.
4) Concern. Being self-centered is fast becoming the norm in many cultures. What outstanding gift could you give someone in a world full of people wondering “what’s in it for me”? How about acting interested in them as a person? Don’t you feel good when someone expresses a genuine concern for your welfare? It’s heartwarming, isn’t it? When you take a moment to listen to, and empathize with another person, you are giving them a gift of great value.
5) Enthusiasm. There is a lot of apathy around these days. The stress of life seems to have stripped many of their passion and excitement. What gift could you give them to help combat their feelings of apathy and provide a jolt of positive energy? How about some genuine enthusiasm? Have you ever noticed how contagious enthusiasm is? If you demonstrate a little excitement toward someone else’s efforts, it can be very encouraging.
6) Assistance. Everybody needs a helping hand from time to time. This is a fantastic way to make good use of your experience, talents or assets. There will be times when others will ask for your help, but why wait? Why not offer to help when you sense that there might be a need. Let them know that you are both willing and available. Even if they never ask, the fact that you offered can be quite a meaningful gesture.
7) Time. This is a biggie because time is the most valuable thing any of us has. Now, I’m not suggesting that you give away vast amounts of your time indiscriminately. But there are those who deserve your time and it’s important that you make yourself available to them. At the top of this list is your family. Giving the gift of time to your mate and children is one of the best investments you will ever make. If you want to fully experience the happiness of giving, make this a priority.
What’s the common denominator?
What do all these different forms of giving have in common? They all come from the heart. This is the true essence of giving. When you give from your heart, you put yourself in line to experience a deeply rewarding truth. There really is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving.