Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Further Thoughts On Giving

Further to my earlier thoughts here, about giving, I'm thrilled to see in the national papers today, many articles relating to general happiness of people in the UK and how it is sorely lacking, mainly due to our self obsessed culture.  Articles that are encouraging us to give a little more of ourselves to other people, either by attitude or action.  When we first think about 'giving', our minds and thoughts automatically turn to money and the fact we don't have enough to give away, or why should we give what's ours to others?  But giving is SO much more than that.

How much?:  Deuteronomy 16:17 - Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you.

Who to?:  Proverbs 3:27 - Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.

Attitude?:  Deuteronomy 15:10 - Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.

Who needs to know?:  Matthew 6:3-4 - But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.  (In other words, you don't need to brag about it).

For some months I have been acting on a scheme I found on a Christian website.  It's called the 10 Day Give and encourages us to not only consider others, but to make a conscious effort to actually act upon practically doing something to make that person's day better.  There is no need to be outwardly public with what you do, there is no need to restrict it to anything monetary, just the willingness to think outside your own busy life and act in a way to brighten up the day of somebody else.

The scheme was restricted to ten days, but I have tried over the past few months, to stop concerning myself with me and to start concerning myself with somebody else.

  • If you're a lady you could compliment another female co-worker if you like something she's wearing. (I mention ladies as this is not really a blokey thing)
  • If you're a Manager, take time to go up personally to thank somebody for the work they've done, don't send an impersonal e-mail and certainly don't take the credit for their work. 
  • Offer your neighbours a cup of tea and invite them in for a chat if you see them outside. 
  • Let the person behind with just a few items go before you at the checkout.
  • Bring cakes into work for your colleagues to share. 
  • Go out of your comfort zone.  Apologise to somebody if you know you've done them wrong, you know who to - even if time has worn away your courage and it means a little bit of egg on your face - you may find you get a better reception than you think. 
  • Contact an old friend if you've allowed distance and life to separate you both. 
  • If you're not comfortable with children, offer to babysit, you might find you enjoy it and the parents would appreciate the break. 
  • If you're healthy, find out where the next blood donor session is near you and get down there - it only takes 30 minutes. 

The possibilities to give are endless.  They cost  nothing and take up so little time, but can so very often be the difference between someone else having a good day or a bad day.  Isn't it great to know that you have the power and ability to put a smile on somebody's face?

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