Is it better to give than to receive?


Despite the commercialism, Christmas is traditionally a time for giving. Whether that be gifts, time, food or even good will and joy.

There are some people who during Christmas and throughout the year question this act of giving and feel that what is important is the getting’ not the giving’.

There is an old saying that states, ‘It is better to give than to receive.’ While many people would say it is great to be on the receiving end, there are some wonderful intangible benefits that can be gained from giving, even where at first glance there may seem to be none.

Examples of this can be found during this festive season, the excited look on a child’s face when they are opening their gifts. The outward show of appreciation by someone who has been on the receiving end of a gift or kind gesture.

Other examples in life can be found in some areas of leadership, which at times can be a lonely place. Mentoring or teaching can seem like a constant form of giving. Parenting can also feel the same, where your children on the face of it just take, take, take.

A leader is really a servant of the people he leads; a mentor is a vessel that carries and supports someone else’s dreams and a parent is an unconditional nurturer and provider. With any one of these roles it can seem at times like you are giving and not receiving.

Consider this statement, ‘It is one of the most beautiful compensations in life that no one can sincerely try to help another without helping themself.’

The ripple effect that is created by your giving extends from you, past you, but yet comes back to you in many ways.

Maya Angelou says, ‘I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.’

Other benefits include; the personal satisfaction you gain from helping someone else grow and the validation you gain when you share your knowledge, skills and expertise. Not forgetting the respect and admiration you receive.

One person’s giving can inspire another to give. When these connections are made, we create an environment of greater optimism and social care, where individuals will know that their giving is making a difference to someone else’s life.

The value of someone resides in what he gives and not in what he is capable of receiving. Sincere acts of giving will add value to another person’s life, which in turn creates advocates for your personal advancement.

These advocates know that as you grow, they will grow, as you gain knowledge, they will gain knowledge. Your meaningful acts of giving and sharing will also empower them too.

‘We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.’ Winston Churchill

Watch the video at the top right of this page, to see how an act of giving can create a ripple effect that can light up many lives. It is heart-warming.

Wishing you all the best for the festive season and may 2012 be all that you hope for.

It’s good to share, I always welcome your thoughts, use the comments box below.

Have a phenomenal week

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