The Power and Reward of Giving – It can change how you live your life

 We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” 
 Winston S. Churchill

The thoughts run rampant through my head; “There has got to be a way to lift the burden of threats of war, terrorism, fires, hurricanes, violence and earthquakes.  The news is an avalanche of crime, economic disparity, climate change, politics, right verses the left and left verses the right.  When will we ever get a break”?   This is very stressful.

For me, it’s easy to get mad or upset about events going on in our country or the world.  It is depressing when I feel we have no control and we are helpless to impact positive change.  I believe many of us struggle to find the good and want to make a difference.  Sometimes an answer is right in front of us and we can’t see it.  We forget what is important and how easy it is to make a difference.

I was reminded about the power of giving when we signed up for a Unity Eastside connection group.  This fall’s reading is “Living Big” by Pam Grout.  The second chapter is about Giving Big, The Attitude of Service.  A sentence in the first paragraph struck me.  “There is only one thing that unlocks the door to peace of mind.  Serving a purpose bigger than the face you see in the mirror every morning”.

In giving I find even the little things matter.  We assemble blessing bags with crackers, fruit cups, water and some toiletries.  These are given to the homeless who stand on the corner.  At first, I thought this might be a waste of time.  But now I am hooked on this habit because the feeling I get when seeing the smile and joy of hungry strangers   This simple act is very rewarding.

“For it is in giving that we receive.”

 Francis of Assisi

 We have a friend named Nan.  For years she has been volunteering and reading at a local elementary school.  Over time the kids have started referring to her as Grand Nan.   It is certain that she has had a huge impact on these children.  They will remember her all their life.  The beaming smile on her face when talking about the children is her obvious reward.

It can be simple; sign up to help at a local non-profit like the Red Cross, or answer the phone at the 211 suicide hotline.  Or deliver food to the elderly with Meals on Wheels and feel the reward by the appreciation shown by the elderly when you deliver a hot meal.  Or anonymously pay for someone’s coffer or lunch.  I promise the thrill will be yours.  You will then stop focusing on all the negative stuff and start contributing to making a change

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

Luke 6:38

And giving doesn’t have to be small.  Ordinary people who are members of Rotary wanted to help eradicate polio, thanks to their efforts, polio is close to being wiped from the face of the earth.  Think big about your passion of helping others.  Believe in yourself.  You have the power to make positive change in our world.  We need you more than ever before.  You can do this!

Just writing about the reward of giving has already changed my day.

I find, giving takes the burden off two shoulders; both theirs and mine.

So, I urge you to grab a family member, or a friend, or someone who is alone.  Go for a walk, or even go out for a cup of coffee.  Talk about ways you can give, or how good it feels when you give. Then follow through.

Are you in?

Gregg Patterson

Gregg.patterson@yahoo.com

© October 2017

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