There is power in giving. Everyone has something to give. Money most often comes to mind when people think of giving, but, people can give from whatever they have. Some people have time to give. Some people have money. Some people can do acts of service or offer kindness. Yes- some kinds of giving are free! People who have nothing can still give a smile or words of encouragement to others. You don’t even have to give to people to be giving. I feed the birds in my yard and leave the weeds until Fall so they can eat the seeds.
When you feel stuck and out of sorts, try giving. When things don’t seem to be flowing well in my life or a lot of little negative things are coming my way for no reason, rather than dwell on that I look at what and how I’ve been giving and how I might be more giving from whatever I have.
In my house we have chickens, so we commonly gift people with eggs. Why? Because we have a lot of eggs, and people appreciate them, but this kind of gifting costs us little – it’s easy. I’m always getting books at thrift stores or library sales, so I often gift them to kids at church or to my little free library.
Giving doesn’t have to be formal or expensive and you don’t even need anyone else to know you give- you just do it as part of your normal life and make it an automatic habit.
Sometimes I personally see an opportunity for someone else to gift and encourage them. For example, where I live people often share the bounty of their garden and have so much even after sharing that there is a ton left! I go out of my way to make sure they know that the local food pantry will take their produce happily and distribute to the whole community- many of them have no idea. They feel better for giving and avoiding it going to waste and it helps many people who it otherwise might not have reached. I’m not the giver in those cases, but I am offering services as a connector between people.
There are tons of ways to offer service. They can take a few minutes or a few hours, depending on how much time and energy you have to give. Giving with service makes you feel better about yourself and like you have worth and purpose…while also contributing and helping others. I’ve often been gifted with other people offering service to my family and I’m very grateful! Over the years, people have come to help rake leaves when my daughter was a brand new baby, they’ve come to help me pack and clean my house to move, they’ve carried heavy things up and down stairs, picked me up off the side of the road when the car broke down, they’ve watched my kids and brought me ginger ale and chicken noodle soup when I was sick.
I’ve watched other people’s kids when they were working, or needed a date night, taught the neighborhood kids how to do things, picked up kids from school when people were running late, contributed food, helped many people with no expectation of payment or more than thanks for the help.
Time is another powerful way to give and people often forget what a gift of your time can mean to someone else. Spending time with someone feeling lonely, listening to someone so they can sort through their own thoughts and feelings, offering your insight and advice are all ways to give time. The gift of time is powerful!
Even if you have little money you can give even tiny amounts of money, stores often have “give a penny, take a penny…” it seems like so little, but to the person short just a few pennies, it can make their day just a little brighter.
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