Giving in Perfect Spirit
A purple balloon, even taller than he, was the gift he had carried for his teacher on her birthday. She thanked him for it and told him that he could take it for himself, the little nine year old refused, he had brought it only for her.
This was conceivably the simplest gift she had received that day, but her appreciation of it was sure to have been her best ever, all because it was possibly the best thing he could give and which he did, with his heart.
Today dear readers, I take it upon myself to get us some insight on what a little giving from the heart could mean to
Giving, as we know it, is an ‘act of kindness ’. What I ask is: can it truly be termed acts of kindnesses if performed out of a sense of duty or for the sake of doing what is expected, as a ritual, a convention, tradition, an obligation or even a formal procedure?
Are we among those who give, mainly with the intent, of getting back some form of returns? My perception of this undertaking would then be nothing but a business bargain which would falsely be termed ‘giving’ as such a form definitely would demand its proceeds.
Another thought that provokes my assessment – Are we selective of why or how much to give and to whom? Is there a patterned lay-out or fixed blueprint such as : generously to those who have enough and meagrely to those who have less? Is giving for the benefactor’s applaud? If so, would that not stand for superficial shallow insincerity?
The phenomenon of giving ought to feel good, not solely due to a release of endorphins, (those feel-good chemicals nowadays termed a “helper’s high”), but because we know that we’re lifting someone else’s spirits.
Deliberate contemplation on what and how we can give meaningfully would be unpretentious and effortless if we made a conscious attempt at selflessly placing the need of another’s foremost to the desire of satisfying our own.
What? Is the next interrogate. What do we give? Is the recipient’s prerequisite or preference the priority, or is it the giver’s selection which takes first place? Most habitually the thing that appeals to the giver is singled out without much reflection towards the receiver’s choice or requirement, I’d say.
The solution then is revealed when our perspective stands at – what bit of kindness would elevate positive feelings in another? What would stir up that someone’s cheer and delight?
Receiving, it is said, activates the brain’s reward centre, a phenomenon hard to explain but easy to feel. Think back to the last time a stranger held the door for you, or a friend just put an arm around you. One little act that lighted up your face should help empathise and inspire what we can give to boost someone’s happiness and thereby ours.
No great feats but one simple, kind word genuinely spoken, a hug given for no reason at all, a little time spent sitting by someone taking an interest in their opinions even if it may not match your own, concern and understanding expressed on another’s circumstances. All things that may appear very insignificantly inconsequential to some, trifling and negligible perhaps, but these are those that astoundingly have, I trust, the best effects and outcomes both in the giver as much as it has in the recipient.
I leave you with a prayer: May we give a little deliberation, purposeful thought and consideration to our ‘giving’. How do we do it? What is our actual drive and intent towards giving?
The gift, however simple, we can define will be received with sheer delight and indebtedness if only given with true heart and perfect spirit. May we always bear that right spirit.