Mother Teresa in her Nobel acceptance speech related an anecdote that I reproduce verbatim.
“Love begins at home. And love to be true has to hurt. I never forget a little child who taught me a very beautiful lesson. They heard in Calcutta, the children, that Mother Teresa had no sugar for her children, and this little one, Hindu boy four years old, he went home and he told his parents: I will not eat sugar for three days, I will give my sugar to Mother Teresa. How much a little child can give. After three days they brought into our house, and there was this little one who could scarcely pronounce my name, he loved with great love, he loved until it hurt. And this is what I bring before you, to love one another until it hurts, but don’t forget that there are many children, many children, many men and women who haven’t got what you have. And remember to love them until it hurts”
“Give till it hurts” is what the small boy taught us. It is easy to give from your abundance but when you share from whatever little you have, at the risk of hurting your self-interest, then truly it is this act of selfless giving that Mother alludes to.
Giving from our abundance or spare change is also ‘giving’, but when you give from your plate a morsel you were about to eat, then you are really giving. Buying a new pair of jeans and giving it away to someone, is giving till it hurts. In a way, spending the money on others that you saved skipping an expensive meal is also similar.
Giving without expecting gratitude must be the basis of all giving. Let the left hand know not what the right hand giveth, is the practice of anonymity. Giving anonymously reaffirms that you expect no gratitude. Giving to strangers may be termed charity but when your intention is to share your good fortune with others it does not really have to be the under-privileged. Sharing a piece of your fortune with your relatives or friend is also an act of giving.
Giving is not just confined to money and material but has other connotations. Giving way to an ambulance is enforceable by law, but when you give way to a harried mother, it is an act of kindness. When you give way to allow alternate perspective, then too, you are exercising the act of giving. When you give up your position in the queue to someone in need, then too you are giving.
Another aspect of ‘giving’ is giving business referrals to your friends and relatives. Sharing your contacts is yet another way of giving and this is amply practiced in the global business group that I am part of for the last 3 years.
This group is all about having an abundant mindset where you give from your heart. You go out of your way to introduce your friends to influential people that you know and work with. You keep a watchful eye for opportunities that you can give to your group, be it your forum, your strategic-business-group or your entire chapter.
Truly, it is when you give that you live. Giving is Living. Anyone can live for himself or herself, but it is when you live for others that you are truly ALIVE.
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