The Act of Giving

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This time of year, there are gifts being given and being received.  I realize that the act of giving for most people is heightened because of the time of year, but it saddens  me that we only seem to pay attention this time of the year.  Do people give out of obligation or responsibility?  Do people give because of tradition?  Do people give to express gratitude? Do people give to show love?  Me being the selfish person that I am (not), I give to show love.  Sometimes, I show love in special ways with one-of-a-kind, uniquely specially made gifts and other times, it something more simple, like picking up a new friend’s lunch.  But, this week, I gave to people who I care about and instead of looking at it as a true gift, the focus was about the amount of money I spent.  This act was not about money — it was about a choice that I made and about something than money can’t buy.  It was a way for me to show love and giving to others brings me joy.  It is not because I expect anything in return or is a competition in any way.  It is who I am.  Have you asked yourself why you give to others?  Is there a hidden motive?  Are you unconditionally giving?  This time of year, we often hear about a group that made a plane full of passengers dreams come true by having their one wish for this holiday season come down the luggage carousel and other random acts of kindness.  But why does it have to be this time of year ONLY?  Shouldn’t we be giving more often, and spread that love throughout the year, covering many vast areas and groups of people.  Now, there are going to be times when we give our hearts away, and someone is going to stomp on it just as quickly as it was given.  This has happened to me several times.  And each time, I have to ask myself, “Why did I give in the first place?”  Because I wanted to show someone that I cared about them and even if they never knew I did it, I could live with that.  Giving is a way to give your heart away and sometimes, our hearts are wrapped up in boxes, with pretty paper and special ribbon.  But beyond, the wrapping and the actual item, what brings more meaning to you?  Doesn’t it just warm your heart when someone shows you their love by spending a few minutes with you, knowing how precious all time is to everyone?  Time is the one thing that can never be replaced and once it is gone, it is gone.  So, what do I want you to do from here?  I want you to understand why you give and that giving should be done out of love, not for other reasons. Remember that giving to someone can (and should) happen more than this time of year.  It can be a text, a card, an invite to lunch.  It can be a little memento that reminds you of them.  The size of the gift does not matter.  The amount of money does not matter.  It is a gift…accept it and appreciate that it was given because of my love for you.  Focusing on anything else diminishes the reason and the fashion in which it was given.  I have given you a piece of my heart and because I expect nothing in return, you will always know the reason I gave you a little piece of me.  Truthfully, my giving to you is selfish for me.  I get something back that you cannot even imagine.  You see, when I love, it lifts me!  “Love, Lift Me” by Amanda Marshall

Michelle A. Homme 2013 ©

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