Simply give others a bit of yourself; a thoughtful act, a helpful idea, a word of appreciation, a lift over a rough spot, a sense of understanding, a timely suggestion. You take something out of your mind, garnished in kindness out of your heart, and put it into the other person’s mind and heart. – Charles H. Burr
Imagine this: there is a great need to be filled, so everyone in the country is asked to contribute one dime to the cause. One by one, all 300 million people in the United States line up to toss a dime into the pile, and everyone contributes within a few days. Can you imagine the size of that pile? Just from the seemingly insignificant contribution of ten cents each, the people of this country would raise $30 million.
If this ever were to happen, we’d have a huge pile of dimes to serve as visual evidence of people’s generosity. And their generosity certainly wasn’t excessive–after all, giving a dime certainly didn’t put anyone out.
Now think of our contributions to the peace and love and kindness of the world. Imagine these qualities as being physical, perhaps in the form of a beautiful green cloud in the sky. This cloud grows the tiniest of bits every time we give something of ourselves to someone else, every time we lift someone else up with encouragement or a word of thanks. The cloud diminishes each time we act in selfishness and hurt someone else.
If we had the visual confirmation of our actions, wouldn’t it be much easier to make kindness and love the most important part of our lives? Wouldn’t we be sure to treat others very well if we actually saw the results of our own actions? We may not have a cloud that grows and shrinks depending on our actions, but we do have a spirit, and we do know how that spirit feels. It can be invigorated or it can be down in the dumps without any real energy, and much of its feelings have to do with our actions. Imagine it as a cloud that others can see, that reflects what we give to the world. Wouldn’t you want it to grow and be beautiful as a reflection of the way that you treat the people in this world?
Questions to consider:
- What would your spirit look like if it were visible to others?
- How can you help your spirit to grow and to thrive?
- What kinds of actions make your spirit diminish?
For further thought:
Giving is the secret of a healthy life. Not necessarily money, but whatever a person has of encouragement and sympathy and understanding.
John D. Rockefeller, Jr.