Monday, April 8, 2013

It really IS better to give than to receive

I know we have all heard the phrase 'it is better to give than to receive' sometime in our lives. So, why bother writing a post about this subject again. Well, the truth is this is something I didn't learn until much later in life, and still requires a lot of work. One of the coolest things I have gotten to do as a writer is donate the proceeds of my book to various causes. In fact, I am donating the proceeds of this week's sales of my book to a group of people who are doing amazing work around the world. A pair of them are getting ready to travel to Japan to provide trauma counseling, while another is preparing to go to Honduras to help build schools and other vital community resources. How cool is that! I think of it as a win-win. The person buying the book gets a good book and has the benefit of knowing his or her money is going to a good place.

Life cannot be about selfish gain. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with making money. However, if all you care about is money, then something is definitely wrong. If you only care about yourself, then in the end that is all you will have. I have found that you can't go wrong helping people. Moreover, giving is never all about money. You can give food, resources, services, and time. In my opinion, time is more valuable than money anyway. I also believe helping someone else in need does more to benefit your soul in a positive way than anything else in the world, and I want others to experience that too.

See, that's what's sad about the world we live in. I would venture to say that nearly everyone has heard that it is better to give than to receive, yet there is a huge portion of people who do not believe that at all. I worry about them. Truth be told, I used to be one of them. I was a very selfish person. When I say I only cared about myself, I mean it. I got caught up in gangs and bad influences, I would steal, and I used people. I hurt a lot of people. I would do anything to get what I wanted. In very simple terms, I was a taker. Actually, I was the worse kind of taker--a taker with no conscience.

You know what, you end up in a very bad place when you live that way. Believe me, I know first hand just how bad. You start to think you are the only one that cares about you, and sadly, you also realize there's probably a very good reason no one cares. One day, some good people helped me, showed me they cared, and helped me turn my life around. I went from feeling completely miserable and hopeless to hopeful. I often say the worse thing that can happen to a person is to lose hope; therefore, the greatest thing that can happen to a person is to have hope restored. If I can do that in any small way, then all the effort was completely worth it. You can't go wrong investing in people.

Oh, some people won't accept the help, you say. Some will even take your help and turn around and do the same things all over again. Well, you would be correct, some will do all those things, and then some, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try. If you completely shut yourself away from the world because you are too jaded, then the person you're really hurting is you. My hope is that you will find reason to have hope, and then go out and help others find theirs. Help out someone in need, not just for them, but for yourself as well. One small gesture could completely change a person's entire world around. Often, the smallest acts create the biggest results. Not all of us are able to anything huge, but all of us are capable of doing a lot of small acts of kindness for others.  Whatever it is that you do, remember: It really IS better to give than to receive.

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