One hundred and five days until Christmas. I saw it with my own eyes. Wrapping paper and other Christmas items are already for sale. I must admit, I was excited that the holiday could be so close. Yet, I realized that the rush to Christmas somewhat disregards Fall Equinox, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas break…and (let’s be more present) next weekend.
I also considered that my giving is not confined to Christmas. I questioned myself. How much have I given? What have I given, lately? Twitter had some support for my thoughts. I compile them here to stimulate your thoughts as well.
One hundred and five days until Christmas, but why does that matter. Giving is a year-round activity. This is especially true when you realize what giving does for you. It is one of the most fruitful ways of expressing who you are. My challenge for you is to go beyond allowing the person with fewer items to move ahead of you in the checkout line. Move beyond the wave to allow someone to pull in front of you at the gas pump. Consider setting aside a portion of your budget for random acts of generosity. Pay the bill for the person now in front of you in the grocery line. Pay for the gas of the person pulling in to the gas station in front of you. It changes you for the better. And, it may start something we all will benefit from.
— Elaine Perry (@elaine_perry) September 11, 2016
2. Give on Purpose
And, giving is not the end. Paying for someone’s gas or groceries is an act of becoming. It is a beginning. The middle is realizing that you can utilize what you have to influence the expression of what someone else has. You can enable others to fulfill their purpose. Your purpose is confirmed through your interactions with others. Giving with intention, then, is purpose affirming for you and the other. Take the time to listen and observe those around you who are moving with purpose. Find creative ways to invest in them. You will find that you have revealed much about you.
"True happiness is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose." Helen Keller
— Shaleza Aise (@shalezaaise) September 8, 2016
3. Give without Regret
I know people, and I know giving. The desire to be of service, to be a blessing, to share your purpose and expertise with others can be frustrating. Some will take you for granted, expect your best for free, or refuse your generosity. But, I have never regretted the giving. You should not regret it either. Giving is all about learning. You learn the discipline of generosity. How much do you give of yourself? How do you recharge your stores? What is a fair price for your products? When do you give versus when do you charge? It is a discipline because there is judgment involved. The offering, the audience, purpose, and the impact are to be considered together as your answers to these questions develop.
— Jonathan Bell (@Jonathan_MBell) September 8, 2016
4. Give to Learn
The act of generosity makes you vulnerable. Even when you are charging for your contribution, it is still an offering of yourself. Your intentional, committed offering is a part of you. Understanding that, you have the opportunity to see how that part of YOU is treated. You see whether that YOU is celebrated, tolerated, or excommunicated. That outcome is not an indication of your value. It is a lesson about identifying your tribe. Your tribe celebrates you without condition. They find ways to convene with you. They are as interested in giving as they are in receiving. Learn to identify your tribe quickly by lessening the time you waste attempting to convince those who tolerate you.
Life's tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late. – Benjamin Franklin #quote
— Jessica Lauren Vine (@JessicaLVine) September 8, 2016
5. Give to Create Meaning
Giving is neither good nor bad. The discipline of generosity does not result in positives or negatives. Your interpretation makes the determination. Here’s my secret. Always determine its worth ahead of any action. In Christmas terms: Enjoy the choosing, wrapping, and giving of the present. Once it is out of your hands, have no ties to the outcome or reactions. It is not as simple as wanting nothing in return. It is focusing on the giving exclusively. You will find greater expression of purpose seeking more opportunities to give rather than waiting expectantly to see more results.
There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.
― William Shakespeare #quote
— Gina Humber (@ghumber720) September 8, 2016