Giving doesn’t demand great sacrifice, great spending, or great selflessness. We can give thanks or praise, we can lend a hand or an ear, and we can take others into account when we make speak or act. We can put ourselves in others shoes, we can give another the benefit of the doubt, we can respect each other, we can share knowledge and wisdom. Don’t underestimate your power to give to others. And don’t underestimate the power giving holds to make the world a better place.
How to judge someone’s character: Look at how they treat those who can’t give them anything. Look at how they treat those they don’t need or want anything from. Look at how they treat those in need of something. Do they treat them as equals? With respect and kindness? Do they help those who need it without expecting anything in the return? Or are they only interested in those who offer them something? The answers to these questions say a lot about a person.
How many slams in an old screen door? Depends how loud you shut it. How many slices in a bread? Depends how thin you cut it. How much good inside a day? Depends how good you live ’em. How much love inside a friend? Depends how much you give ’em. ~ Shel Silverstein
Time is our most precious gift, to give and to receive. It’s perhaps one taken most for granted, because we’re spending it constantly. But time is one gift that is truly irreplaceable, valuable and magical. Time spent listening, comforting, loving, laughing, helping is never wasted. That time shapes our memories and our character, and those of the people around us. Time brings life alive. Time is a treasure we should share more often. We can never get it back, so we might as well spend it abundantly.
Love is a strong feeling of affection. Real love is intense, passionate and unfaltering. For those we love, we go the extra mile, we accept them for who they are, and we lift them up when they are low. Imagine we loved ourselves as much as we loved others. How much more would we give? How much more would we forgive? How much more would we accept? We shouldn’t be the exception to the rule. It’s ok to share some love with ourselves. In fact, it should be mandatory. How can we expect to love someone else or for someone else to love us, before we love ourselves? We deserve the truest, realest forms of love. And it begins with ourselves.
Our relationships shouldn’t be the means by which we climb up the ladder, the means by which we snatch more into our pockets, or the means by which we raise our superiority. Whilst the foundation of our relationships should be a balance between giving and receiving, we shouldn’t treat people in relation to their ability to give. Some people give their everything. Some people take all and give nothing. Some people have very little to give, but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t if they could. Not every relationship or encounter is something to be gained from. Sometimes it’s purely about being honourable and kind towards another person, regardless of what we see in return.
The very connotations surrounding the definition of ‘selfish’ are negative: “lacking consideration for other people; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure”. But sometimes the only way we can ever become selfless is through being selfish. If we do not pursue our own passions, if we cannot be ourselves, if we do not take care of ourselves – if we are basically empty inside – then what do we have to offer and give each other? When we follow our own ideas, we bring new perspectives into the world. When we learn to be ourselves, we inspire confidence in others. When we understand how to make ourselves happy, we radiate happiness into the world. By being a little selfish once in a while, the world will blossom.