Giving for Good, or Giving to Gloat?
Posted by Trevor on 14 December 2012 | 3 Comments
With the holidays in full swing, the season for giving has officially arrived. At this time of year, our minds become consumed with gift-giving, entertaining, spending time with family and often participating in charitable activities. Nearly every store front or cash register has some sort of call to action to help the less fortunate. While the value of this generosity is notable for the recipients, there are also benefits to the people giving as well – if we do it for the right reasons.
The universe operates through dynamic exchange…giving and receiving are different aspects of the flow of energy in the universe. And in our willingness to give that which we seek, we keep the abundance of the universe circulating in our lives.~~ Deepak Chopra
I agree with Deepak in that how you give is more important than what you give. Everything is energy and energy must flow or stagnate. A small gift given with genuine desire to give has a profound energy effect in the universe. Conversely a big gift given out of guilt or with resentment or because it boosts the giver’s ego, robs the universe of energy. If the outpouring of love is not the wrapping around the gift then it would better not to give.
In the same vein of thought, how we receive a gift has an equal impact on the flow of energy. Receiving a gift with enthusiasm and gratitude will create the opportunity for more receiving in your life. Receiving with cynicism or reluctance shuts your life off from future receipts. This applies not just to the physical giving and receiving of gifts and philanthropy, but the use of words and thoughts. Giving compliments freely is a good thing, but we also must be able to accept compliments without embarrassment or self consciousness.
I am sure all that makes common sense, but that is not how the holiday gifting season plays out. My wife’s sister has a notorious reputation for exchanging gifts back at the store. So known is she for turning her nose up at someone’s good intentions that people nowadays tell her to buy the gift she wants and then money is exchanged. If only they understood the strangulation that causes to the flow of energy. My sister in law is not unusual and all you need to do is visit the mall the day after Christmas day to see how few people understand the powerful flow of giving and receiving in the right way..
We have all been there, driving home in traffic when a man or woman is standing at the intersection with a sign asking for help. We all have our reasons for why we may or may not give, and oftentimes we notice the people in the cars in front of us and behind us giving their change through the window. The peer pressure can compel us to give, as we feel guilty for being the only person not offering up assistance. That attitude destroys the benefit of the gift. Either give freely, sending the recipient happy thoughts, or don’t. It is not the action that matters, but the energy of thoughts around it.
I am sure you have also been offered opportunities to get involved in associations which hold charity events, some of which can be very expensive. While it is nice to get dressed up and feel like you are doing something beneficial for others, I often find myself wondering why we don’t just donate the money we spend on the fancy clothing, jewelry and catering to the cause we are holding the event for in the first place? I feel as though events like that can turn into occasions that are less about the charity and more about a chance for community members to appear charitable to others, just so they may receive recognition. If that is the case then energy cannot flow freely in the room.
When making a decision to give, I feel it should be about what makes you feel right. You have to be true to yourself. Make your decision based on your own feelings, not because peer pressure has bullied you into it. Get involved in a cause that you really care about, and the rest will come easy. Maybe you are passionate about animals, or teaching children to read, or helping victims of domestic violence. There are so many causes with needs that could benefit from your generosity. Find the one that speaks to you, and do what you can in your own little way with love.
Similarly, if you are in a position right now which is not ideal, and someone offers to help…. take the offer. Be grateful for the gift because in accepting it well you will do as much good for the giver as their gift does for you because you allow the energy to flow.