I’m a pretty independent person. And I like to be self-sufficient… to not need or ask for help. However, when someone I know is in need… whether it be help with a task, a connection I can make for them, or prayer during a hard or dark time… I am very willing and grateful to give. But when the shoe is on the other foot, and I am the one in need, I’ve had to learn to accept the generosity of others.
“Giving is virtuous, but so is accepting gifts gratefully.” -Doe Zantamata
When I read this quote I wondered, “Am I gratefully accepting the gifts I receive from others?” My daughter just returned from an eight week summer adventure in Asia where we were out of contact for much of the time. When she was packing to leave, one of the things I told her was on the tough days to be aware of her blessings, count them, and be lifted up by them. She would need to be dependent upon, first of all, her God every single day, and secondly, on the kindness of and gifts from others around her.
Our family has had some dark and tough days over the last year or so. And now I realize our faith, and the kindness, prayers and gift from those in our lives is what has made the difference in coming through to the other side. It’s sometimes really hard to feel so weak, as if the world is pressing down on you. But I saw a great visual just the other day in a counselor’s office that illustrates how, if we allow ourselves, we can let others remove some of the heaviness and be so grateful for it. This counselor was speaking to my friend who had been carrying a pretty heavy load… he got up, walked over to her, placed his hands on her shoulders “lifting” the burden from her, removed it and carried it away. That’s what we can do for each other. Even I felt lighter as I saw him do this. And why would I want to rob the giver from the joy of giving?
I am grateful… so, so grateful for the prayers, phone calls, texts, walks, shoulders, tissues that have been passed my way. And I will continue to give generously in the same way whenever I can.
“How beautiful a day can be when kindness touches it!” -George Elliston
Read my book, Connected for Good: A Gameplan for a generous Life, to discover stories of other generosity champions.