Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Joy of Giving

Give a gift to everyone you meet in the course of your day! Sound impossible? It's not. It's a lot of fun and the rewards can be amazing!

I'm not proposing that you buy and give material gifts - though on special occasions that might be a wonderful idea as well. What I'm talking about is much more spontaneous and simple. It can be the gift of a smile, a helping hand, a kind word, a hand picked flower, or a prayer. It might be a shoulder to cry on or a hug of encouragement. It might be a card, or a phone call to let someone know you're thinking of them.

In these seemingly small ways we can deeply connect with another and it may be the connection they (or we) need most at that moment.

A moment in time that really touched my heart. I was busy gardening on a Sunday morning. As I worked, my elderly neighbor Daisy (in her mid 90's) made her way across the street to chat. She told me the same story everytime I saw her, about her husband who had passed away several years before and how much he loved to work in his garden. I listened attentively even though she'd told me this story many times before, clearly it was a wonderful memory for her. After a few minutes, she said goodbye and went home. Since I was practicing 'gift giving' I wondered what in the world I could give to Daisy. I decided to cut some lily's and roses from my garden and take them to her, which I did. I rang her doorbell and when she answered the door I smiled and handed her the flowers. Her eyes just lit up, she was so happy. She said she hadn't received flowers in a very long time. She told me how beautiful they were and how good it felt to receive them. She thanked me over and over again.

That was a few years ago. Daisy has since passed away. But I'll never forget how simple it was to give her that moment of happiness. She in turn gave me a gift as well, though she may not have known it. She gave me the gift of insight and gratitude - how such a small gesture can be so meaningful to someone in need of exactly what we have to give.

So, try it this week. Give a 'gift' to everyone you come in contact with. See how it enriches the lives of the receiver and the giver.

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