Yikes! My first inclination when Marcia asked me to write a piece on Giving for Vallarta Mirror was to fearfully say, “Thanks, but NO thanks.”
While I love to write, I babble in print. I have too much on my plate at the moment, and this is the perfect opportunity to practice my newly acquired skill of just saying “NO. NO. NO.”
Instead, I decided to face the fear and analyze why I felt this resistance and found the ‘deadline concept’ was the culprit. I am shaking and quaking as I write the word ‘d-d-d deadline.’
I traced this phobia back 20 years to when I was writing a cute weekly column in a local newspaper for the women’s golf league on Sanibel Island.
Then, entered the dreaded ‘deadline.’ (Deadline is the only fear of ‘dead’ I have.) So good for me, and thank you, Marcia; I faced this irrational fear, the first step in taming it.
This whirling dervish has finally settled down at the computer. Let the writing begin.
I instinctively went to Siri to hear what she had to say about Giving. Siri and I have an uneasy relationship; she believes I don’t enunciate clearly and tortures me with misinformation to get her point across.
Somehow, she gave me a dissertation on turtles when I approached her on this subject. With the deadline closing in, I had no time to argue with her; I turned to Google to learn what the masters had to say about Giving.
To that end, I got lost in researching the sages of the ages. The getting lost part is no exaggeration; however, let me sum up my findings in a single paragraph:
They are all for the act of Giving, especially charitable Giving. They feel it gives life much-needed balance.
They also pointed out that there are all manners of Giving, including time, talent, and stuff. All manner of ‘stuff’ including, of course, money. I am paraphrasing here; only George Carlin, of the many sages researched, used the word ‘stuff,’ Aristotle, Lao Tsu, Kant, et al., did not.
I was married for 57 idyllic years to a zany Turkish Tribesman from Iran who walked his Giving talk.
One of my favorite activities was to witness his creatively generous nature. He made everything fun, and his many acts of Giving were no exception.
Many considered Gholi Darehshori the poster child and a founding father for paying it forward. He shimmered with delight as he created ways to surprise unsuspecting people with random acts of kindness. Everyone was fair game; Giving IS an act of kindness.
Gholi’s favorite comment was, “Giving is a selfish act.” He meant it. He knew that Giving is a feel-good activity born of love, raised in the heart and resulting in a genuinely good feeling.
He said, “What could be more selfish than wishing to be joyful and in a perpetual state of bliss?”
Two things Giving is not:
- Giving is not obligatory. It must originate in the heart center out of pure love and is incompatible with obligation.
- Giving does not cause stress. It is an easy energy when given freely and flows like a river to its source.
There can be no expectations when Giving freely of yourself. Giving is done purely selfishly because YOU, the giver, wish to give.
As Gholi would give randomly to anyone, I would say, “Well, he could at least say thank you.” Gholi reminded me that we give without ANY expectations, including the slightest acknowledgment in a few cases.
- Giving is fun and creative.
- Giving has no boundaries. No level is too small, and nothing is too large.
- Giving is for all of us, all the time, for any occasion. It is sharing what is beautiful and sharing the love.
When you understand the abundance theory, there will never be any shortage of anything in your life. So give freely when the spirit moves you, and only then.
There is no end to the personal and interactive benefits of the blessed act of Giving. Keep practicing and expanding your thinking about what it is. You always give of yourself with every interaction, whether with nature, animals, or other people. It is just, well, a ‘given.’
Puerto Vallarta’s allure for me has been the recognition that, as a community, these principles of Giving are already in wide use. Vallarta is a Giving, open community where people support one another. I am reminding you of what you already innately know: We are ALL givers!!!
Thanks for indulging me.
Please come to the Casa Karma Red Room at Act2PV, which I am happily sponsoring this season. I shall end by Giving you all my best!