How we give is even more important than what we give. We, myself included, too often forget the actual definition of the word give. That definition says that to give means to “freely transfer the possession of something to someone.”
The key word there is “freely.” To me that means to expect nothing in return. Absolutely nothing.
That’s a lot harder to do than it sounds. You may think differently. You may think that you always give without expecting anything in return. But then you don’t send a holiday card to someone next year because they didn’t send you one this year.
Maybe you make a mental note of the value of the graduation gift your son or daughter received from one of your close friends. That determines the approximate value of the gift you’ll give to the kids of that friend.
In cases like that you’re not “freely” giving. You’re making a trade. Your “giving nature” is impacted by what you receive in return.
But maybe you don’t expect anything in return. Except for a bit of recognition or attention for your generous nature. If you expect to be recognized as a giver then you’re expecting something in return.
If you’re expecting something in return it’s not truly giving. Whatever you’ve given it’s certainly not “freely transferred.”
Here’s a little test for you. Do something extra for someone today. Do not let them or anyone else know you did it for them. If you’re like most people, including me, you’ll find the first half of that test far easier to accomplish than the second part. That’s because we have egos and those egos need to be fed. They are hungry little critters.
Give and then forget about it. Give and expect a healthy dose of INGRATITUDE in return. When no one acknowledges your giving then give some more.
If you’re giving solely for the purpose of giving you’ll have no problem with that. If you’re giving with the hope or intent of getting something, anything, in return then you’ll stop giving before long.
I love to think of myself as a giving person but I hate to think of myself as being taken advantage of. It seems to me as if those two thoughts are in conflict with each other.
That conflict prevents me from giving all that I could.
I’ve always heard that people who can forgive and forget have a happy life. I suspect that people who give and forget have an even happier life. So I’m going to try that. I’m guessing it won’t be easy but most things worth doing are not easy to do.
Care to join me?