My grandpa had taught my mom that if you are in a position to give, you should consider yourself very lucky, for you are in a position to help others, to give, instead of to take.
This has been a guiding principle of mine, and when I am in a position to give, I do so without expectations of the other person returning the favour. In the spirit of the upcoming holiday season, considered by many as a season of giving, I want to share a brief story.
An event coordinator who was helping me with one of my past clients told me in passing, during one of our coffee breaks, that her friend was applying for a grant from his university to fund his flight to compete in a worldwide competition. I was intrigued and asked her how much he was asking for.
"Well, he's pitching for $300 to pay for his flight to compete in Europe."
"Are you kidding? He's pitching a committee for a $300 grant so he can compete on their behalf?"
"Can you tell him that I will give him this $300?"
Such a brief conversation, but it reminds me to this day the importance of exercising our ability to give.
If you have it, then don't mind sharing it.
I was also just starting out on my own consulting business at the time, but $300 wasn't a make or break for me, so I decided in a split second that I would give it to someone I've never met, to help him meet his ambition. I wrote the cheque the next day.
He went, competed, and won. What a great feeling to know I was able to contribute to that in a small way.
How are you using what you have to help others? It doesn't have to be a monetary gift. In fact, an act of kindness can sometimes mean more than you know. You know the janitor who keeps the bathrooms clean day after day at your office? If you see them, thank them. Every one has a job, and while they have the job title, not everyone feels obligated to be great at their jobs. If you notice the bathrooms are sparkling clean, you KNOW it's their doing, so you should thank them.
To you it's two words, to them it's encouragement to continue doing a great job.
What can you give today?