Grow by Giving

The Act of Giving.

One act of giving per day. That’s all it takes to make a real difference. And the most amazing thing of all? The main beneficiary is you! You can grow by giving!

You don’t have to spend a fortune, sometimes your time is worth more than any money you can give. It doesn’t have to be a huge grand gesture either, often the littlest, most insignificant things mean the most.

My partner is my inspiration, she exudes kindness and empathy from every pore, she is not troubled by feelings of embarrassment or self-consciousness, she just goes with her big, kind heart. It is both touching and inspiring for me to witness these acts of giving, and it always brings a big beaming smile to my face! She is my inspiration in life and my inspiration for writing this particular blog.

She has inspired me to give in many of the ways shown below. I’m not a saint by any means, I’m just an ordinary guy who has discovered the pleasure and rewards of giving. I aim to give something at least once per day. But please, don’t take my word for it! Try it for yourself and feel how amazing it is!

Give smiles.

Never underestimate the power of a simple smile, and we can never know the circumstances of a stranger. That smile may be the only warm connection that that person has had with humanity in a long time. A smile says, ‘I see you, you are a person, you are not invisible’. Yes, a smile is a powerful thing, free to use and available on command. Use it more often, it’s addictive, and you will definitely find that you will enjoy it just as much as others.

Give love.

Give love, always give love. It is free to give and along with time is the most precious thing that you can give. When I say ‘give love’, I do not just mean give love to those closest to you, family, partners, etc, I mean ‘give love’ to all humanity, to everybody and everything. Love unconditionally, become a beacon of love, radiating love to all, friends, enemies, everyone. Not only will you feel great, but you will also soon find that this love is returned to you in abundance.

Give time.

In today’s fast-paced society time is our most precious commodity, so sometimes it is the easy option to give money, donations, or presents. Giving time requires far more commitment. However, giving time is unarguably, a far more valuable gift. Time cannot be replaced or substituted. Giving time is so very personal because only you can give it. In essence, you are giving a piece of yourself, that is priceless. Giving time to an old or lonely person might only cost you a couple of minutes, but could be the only human contact that that person has that day.

Donate-blood

Give blood.

I live in the UK, and we are proud and protective of our most precious institution, the NHS. The NHS ensures that every citizen has access to free medical care at the point of need. We are lucky to have the institution and the dedicated individuals who work for it. It is no secret that the NHS is under-resourced and needs every bit of help it can get. Most of us are able to give blood, a vital resource that is ever in short supply. We should all give blood, I cannot overstate how much the NHS and its patients rely on this resource. It is the very least we can do for this, our most beloved institution. Give blood, give life.

Give grace.

There are two sayings, ‘Manners maketh Man’ and ‘Manners cost nothing’, and I am a firm believer in both of these philosophies. Well, not just manners but general courtesy and respect for other humans, animals, nature, the planet…. Manners, courtesy, and respect (I’ll call them grace from now on), are often mistaken for weakness, but nothing could be further from the truth, they show strength of character. Giving someone, anyone, the respect they deserve, as a member of the human race, is a great way to give, and could be as simple as being polite and thankful to a shop assistant, opening a door for someone, or just saying thank you with a smile.

Give to Food Banks.

Most supermarkets now have a trolly at the exit for donations for local food banks. It saddens me no end that in one of the richest countries in the world, we still need food banks to ensure that some of the more vulnerable members of our society can eat. However, this is not a political blog, and I make no political comment. However, whatever contribution you make, large or small, will be significant, it will make a difference, and could provide a meal for a hungry child.

Give random gifts to random people.

This form of giving is possibly the most fun of all. I try to do this once a month, (usually around payday). I was initially inspired to do this by Pam Grout in her book “E-Cubed: Nine More Energy Experiments that Prove Manifesting, Magic and Miracles is Your Full-Time Gig”. It involves leaving small random gifts for random people to find. I originally started by leaving £5 notes with an uplifting message and either taped these to cars, bus stops, or I left them in books in shops, honestly, looking for places to leave the cash was almost the most fun part. However, this got a bit expensive, (I got carried away!). So I started to leave lottery tickets, scratch cards, or actual tickets, this was even better as it added the element of excitement to the process, as someone could win a life-changing amount. I also got more ‘bang for my Buck’. One thing I learned early on was, you could influence who found the gift by choosing where you left it. I made an effort to steer away from this, it was not in the spirit of the exercise, I wanted to make sure that the Universe decided, that it was totally random. Of course, the gift and the message you choose is up to you, it could be anything that someone would enjoy finding and doesn’t have to be expensive at all, really, the options are endless.

Do something because you want to, not because you have to.

This is another free form of giving that always means a lot to someone. Doing something out of the goodness of your heart, without feeling obligated, is a powerful form of giving, especially if it is given unprompted, as it demonstrates thoughtfulness, empathy, and understanding.

There is a pattern.

Are you are beginning to see that there is a pattern here. The most important and precious things that you can give are always free. As I mentioned at the beginning, giving is not about grand gestures, or how much money you give, it is about why you give, and the spirit in which it is given.

Give something.

What I have written is really just the tip of the iceberg here, it is my feelings about giving. And, it is not my intention to write a definitive list of what you should be giving, as giving is a personal thing. What you give is up to you. Suffice to say that there are as many different ways of giving as there are people who read this, and you need to find your own ideal way of giving.

There is no such thing as an unselfish act.

It would be improper to write a piece on giving and not address a viewpoint that I often come across. Many people argue that there is no such thing as an unselfish act. That every action that a person takes is ultimately for a selfish reason. This includes giving. This could be seen as a cynical attitude that is contemptuous of those who act selflessly when they do good deeds. However, I have to acknowledge that giving does make me feel good, I do enjoy it, and while I do not do it for this reason alone, it certainly makes giving more attractive to me. And, you might also argue, what is wrong with that? Are we so pious that we feel that in order to do a good thing we should make sure that we have to suffer in doing it? I think not. I think that feeling good about yourself while giving or doing something kind, is a totally valid reaction, why benefit one person when you can benefit two!

Last Word.

My last words on giving are these: Give with love, give with your heart and give often. When you give unconditionally to another, with love, and thoughtfulness, all that love and thoughtfulness will be returned to you a hundredfold. And, you will discover just how great giving and doing feels.  

robbybanana

I was 52 years old before I learned my most important life lessons: Life can be so much easier than we choose to make it. My life is in my hands – it is what I make of it. Life can be as happy, loving, joyous, fulfilling and downright amazing as I choose it to be. The Universe loves me and wants me to be happy, prosperous, fulfilled. Things will always turn out for the best in the end. Have faith, let things go, ask and trust in the Universe. I have a choice! I have always had a choice! And I have more power and opportunity than I ever realised!

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