– Mother Teresa –
Whenever I get a dollar coin for my change in purchases, I would put it into a piggy bank. This would be sent to a friend around Christmas every year to be pooled together with her own money; the money would then be used to buy gifts for less fortunate children near where she stayed. Last year, instead of buying gift for less fortunate children, we used the money to reach out to people who were affected by Typhoon Yolanda in Tacloban City.
I have been doing this for a few years already but I have always felt bad for being only able to contribute so little every year; she always assured me that every contribution counts. Indeed, it is not how much we give but how much love we put into the giving that matters. And most importantly, it matters only that we give.
Dictionary.com defines ‘Give‘ as ‘to present voluntarily and without expecting compensation.’ There is no part in this definition stating that giving must be in the monetary form. I have gotten two wrong perceptions of giving for all these years.
One wrong perception is I have always thought, subconsciously, of giving money as the only form of giving; I was wrong big time. Giving money is just one of the ways of giving ourselves. Giving of ourselves is not only limited to money but also of our time and making life better for another. To give someone our time is akin to giving a part of our lives which we would never get back.
“Time is your most precious gift because you only have a set amount of it. You can make more money, but you can’t make more time. When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you’ll never get back. Your time is your life. That is why the greatest gift you can give someone is your time.” – Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life
Giving of time is an important way of giving. The other ways to give ourselves are in our living. Give someone a smile whenever we can; don’t worry about the person not smiling back or being thought as crazy. It could be the only smile the person gets for the whole day. And trust me, this little ‘craziness’ is more therapeutic than any medication in the world. We can also give sincere appreciation. Many are hunger for appreciation and acknowledgement and yet they don’t get it from their family or friends. In the work place, a lot are overworked and under-appreciated. Imagine what giving a sincere appreciation could do?
“If some people are so hungry for a feeling of importance that they actually go insane to get it, imagine what miracle you and I can achieve by giving people honest appreciation this side of insanity.” – Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People
These are but only two ways we can give in our living daily. There are so many others ways we can give everyday. We can give up our seats in the public transport to another, give food to homeless, give help to someone whom you see carrying a lot of stuffs, give away things which we no longer need but could be what others are looking for etc. Bring out the creativity in you and you could easily find a dozen other ways to give.
The other wrong perception on giving I have was, ‘I must have a lot before I could start giving.’ I used to think that I couldn’t give because I have little. Life is simple but we instead on making it complicated. I did make it complicated. Everything is simplified now: If I have a little, I could give a little. If I have more, I could give more. If I have a LOT, I could give a LOT! Build up the habit of giving!
I have always believe that the ability to give in itself is a a great blessings. Although we give without any expectation, as the saying goes, “The more we give, the more we receive.” Just take note that what we receive may not be the way we expect the blessings to be, but it will always come back. Guaranteed!
Photo credit: hoangsonftu2