Live a life of giving

Some of us are blessed to grow up in an environment where giving is a daily process of life, and we pick up this quality naturally. Some of us are taught the benefits of giving through our education and experience with altruistic people in our lives, despite being exposed to less generous situations. Some of us have discovered the joys of giving through our daily encounters as we walk our journeys on earth.

All of us have the spirit of giving in us – it is how we want to awaken this consciousness to let it flow freely from our souls.

Kahlil Gibran shared a thought on Giving in his book “The Prophet”. This is the extract:

“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give. For what are your possessions but things you keep and guard for fear you may need them tomorrow? And tomorrow, what shall tomorrow bring to the over-prudent dog burying bones in the trackless sand as he follows the pilgrims to the holy city? And what is fear of need but need itself? Is not dread of thirst when your well is full, the thirst is unquenchable?

There are those who give little of the much they have – they give it for recognition and their hidden desire makes their gifts unwholesome. And there are those who have little and give it all. These are the believers in life and the bounty of life, and their coffer is never empty.

There are those who give with joy, and that joy is their reward. And there are those who give with pain, and that pain is their baptism. And there are those who give and know not pain in giving, nor do they seek joy, nor give with mindfulness of virtue; they give as in yonder valley the myrtle breathes its fragrance into space. Through the hands of such as these God speaks, and from behind their eyes He smiles upon the earth.

It is well to give when asked, but it is better to give unasked, through understanding; and to the open-handed search for one who shall receive is joy greater than giving. And is there aught you would withhold? All you have shall some day be given; therefore give now, that the season of giving may be yours and not your inheritors.

You often say, ‘I would give, but only to the deserving.’ The trees in your orchard say not so, nor your flocks in your pasture. They give that they may live, for to withhold is to perish. Surely he who is worthy to receive his days and his nights is worthy of all else from you. And he who has deserved to drink from the ocean of life deserves to fill his cup from your little stream.

And what desert greater shall there be, than that which lies in the courage and the confidence, nay the charity, of receiving? And who are you that men should rend their bosom and unveil their pride, that you may see their worth naked and their pride unabashed? See first that you yourself deserve to be a giver, and instrument of giving.

For in truth it is life that gives unto life – while you, who deem yourself a giver, are but a witness.

And you receivers – and you are all receivers – assume no weight of gratitude, lest you lay a yoke upon yourself and upon him who gives. Rather rise together with the giver on his gifts as on wings; for to be overmindful of your debt is to doubt his generosity who has the free-hearted earth for mother, and God for father.”

This last paragraph is an affirmation that as we receive the gifts from life, we are completing the cycle of giving and receiving – thus living the law of attraction. I am certain many of us are grateful for what we have and what we have been getting, and it is because we have given freely of ourselves that we are now receiving this abundance from the Universe.

However, some of us do get caught into a syndrome of ‘I would give but to the deserving’ , but be mindful that the sun shines on all and the rain falls on everyone, regardless of who you are – there is no special privilege. So why do we create boundaries when it comes to giving?

I quote Kahlil Gibran again: “For in truth it is life that gives unto life – while you, who deem yourself a giver, are but a witness.” When we give to someone else, we are giving back to ourselves as we are all connected, as we are all part of Life itself. He reiterated: “And he who has deserved to drink from the ocean of life deserves to fill his cup from your little stream.”

When we give to others, we are giving to life…and in more ways than one, we are giving back to ourselves!

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