“Think of giving not as a duty but as a privilege.” John D Rockefeller
It goes without saying that we live in a very materialistic, and physical world. Most of us live in a way which is focused upon what we have and what we need: A home to live in, money to pay the rent or mortgage; food in the cupboards, and money to purchase it, and so on.
We have a tendency to hoard things as well. “Saving for a rainy day” is something I’ve been hearing since I was a child. “We can’t spend too much or we won’t have enough in our ‘rainy day’ fund”. The thing about the “Rainy Day Fund” is that quite often the rainy day never comes! Or, if it does, we resent having to dip into it!
Our society leans towards the “disposable” too. There’s a television advert for mobile phone disposal that completely incenses me! Whilst I think it’s great that mobile phones can be rejigged so that they can be given to others, the advert also intimates that it’s a good thing to change your phone every year! One phrase used on the advert is “So, last season”. Aaaargh! So what if the phone is one year old! Does it work? Does it do what it’s meant to do? Does it really need changing for the newest, latest release with lots of new gadgets – most of which you’ll never use!?!
In this capitalist world in which we live there is so much focus upon “what we can get” rather than “what we can give”. The emphasis on the mobile phone disposal is not about giving someone else the opportunity of a phone, but on disposing of the one you have and getting a new one.
Think about this one: when you hold a door open for someone to help them, are you holding it open to give them a helping hand? Or are you holding it open to get a thank you? I know I’ve been the person in the past who indignantly shouts after the person who didn’t say thanks “It’s a pleasure!”. There could be any number of reasons the person didn’t say thank you and most of them are about them being ungrateful or rude. But I ask again – do we hold the door open to get a “Thank you” or to give a helping hand?
If we all focused just a little bit more on giving something – no matter how small – to those around us, there’d be more free flowing abundance in the world. There absolutely IS enough for everyone. We just need to learn to stop hoarding and focusing upon “what’s in it for me”.
Whilst I use that statement (“What’s in it for me” ) perhaps look at it not in terms of receiving something physical, but something emotional, i.e. feeling good that you’ve been able to help someone out. I’ve mentioned the film before, but I’m going to mention it again “Pay It Forward” is all about helping people around you in ways that you can that they can’t do for themselves or on their own. There is no requirement for repayment or to receive anything back. That really is living a selfless life.
We need to let go of this fear that if we give everything we have we’ll have nothing left. If we live in the flow, as we give, so shall we receive. Like a river. The river doesn’t worry about whether there’ll be enough water if it keeps flowing – it just does it. Abundance is like a river – it never stops. When we dam it, we stop the flow. The lake that we have created then becomes stagnant and dead. But if we allow the water to flow, it’s constantly replenished, and we help bring life and abundance to others along our path.
Rather than asking “what can I get out of this?” or “what can I get for free?”, focus instead on “what can I give that would help out?”. After all, it is in giving, that we receive.
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