In these past few weeks, as I've been writing about The Power of Your Imagination, The Power of The Subconscious, The Power of Thought. When starting to think about writing today's blog post, I kept thinking about The Power of Giving.
It really came alive to me when watching CBS This Morning this week. Oscar-winner Matt Damon and Gary White, a water expert and engineer who created the WaterCredit initiative (and another "Carolina boy"), are on a mission to bring clean water to everyone worldwide. The duo co-founded Water.org in 2009 to help the more than 660 million people who lack access to safe water. It was a powerful story, and I couldn't stop thinking about it. PS: I was super impressed to see a "Hollywood Star" use that star power to work toward good; something really good.
Watch this YouTube video to hear Matt share his passion for helping those in need:
That got me to thinking about the many ways in which we can give.
Yes, we can donate to terrific causes such as Water.org. And we really should. As Matt said on CBS This Morning, Americans take it for granted, as water is around us everywhere!
But we can also donate to the National Kidney Foundation; a program close to my heart because of my nephew Adam's battle with kidney complications. You can give to The United Way, a program my father gave a good many years of his life to supporting. You can certainly give to your local churches -- no matter the affiliation, because -
IT'S BETTER TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE
You've certainly familiar with that bible verse, from Acts 20:35. And no matter the translation, it pretty much all means the same. That led me to think:
When's the last time you GAVE something away for the mere PLEASURE of doing so? You did it "just because." Didn't it feel good?
Did you happen to notice the more you did it, the better it felt? And perhaps the more you found yourself wanting to do it?
Giving has a universal power of exponential increase
If you're a fan of The Law Of Attraction, as am I, then you know it states whatever you give consistent thought to, you will create. The Universe is attraction-based, and the best thing to realize is you will get back exactly what you give your greatest amount of thought to.
Which led me to ponder this:
WHAT IF WE GAVE AWAY AS THOUGH WE WOULD NEVER RUN OUT
WHAT IF WE GAVE AWAY KNOWING IT WOULD COME BACK 10-FOLD
If we all have the power to create all that we can dream (LOA), and there is an endless supply of everything (which I secretly believe there is), then what if we dreamt it all up and gave it all away?
Having grown up a PK (preacher's kid), you know I've spent most my entire life hearing, reading and learning about the bible. Now that I'm about halfway through my life, I've made it a point to study what other faiths/religions/belief systems have to say about Giving. Check this out:
In the teachings of Christ,
He was adamant about giving to others. And while there are any number of verses in the Bible about giving, here are just a few:
Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. -2 Corinthians 9:7
A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great. -Proverbs 18:16
Give and it shall be given to you; for with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. -Luke 6:38
Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Luke 6:30 (NIV)
How about for Buddhists?
The first training the Buddha gave for everyone was the practice of giving. To practice generosity is the most basic way to experience freedom. Happiness and inner calm grow when are fed by generous acts. While reading Buddha's Advice to Laypeople, I came upon this about generosity. In Pali, the language of the earliest Buddhist texts, the word for giving is “dāna.” The word for generosity, the underlying spirit of giving, is “cāga" which also means “letting go.” It is this letting go activity that helps to weaken and reverse painful attachments and longings.
And how is a person of integrity in the way he gives a gift? There is the case where a person of integrity gives a gift attentively, with his own hand, respectfully, not as if throwing it away, with the view that something will come of it. -(MN 110.23 tr. Thanissaro Bhikkhu)
What does Jewish Philanthropy say about giving?
The concept is called Tzedakah, or Charity. And it is the responsibility to give aid, assistance and money to the poor & needy, or to worthwhile causes. Tzedakah means being good stewards of and planning to give a portion of one's personal substance for the common good. Although it is related to charity, the translation is broader than the definition of charity. Charity suggests benevolence and generosity, an act of the powerful and wealthy for the benefit of the poor and needy. Tzedakah is derived from the Hebrew language and means righteousness, fairness or justice. In Judaism, giving to the poor is not viewed as a generous act; it's an act of justice, the performance of a duty, or the right thing to do.
How do the Muslims view giving?
It is absolutely central to the Muslim identity to feel care and compassion for one’s fellow human beings. If a Muslim feels the pain of his or her fellow human being, and wishes the same comfort and good life for others which he wishes for himself, it's a natural reaction to give in charity, to ease this suffering. In the Qur’an, Allah describes those who prevent the supporting of orphans and the feeding of the poor as
“Those who reject the faith” (107:1-3), while emphasizing charity should be given in “prosperity or adversity” (3:134), without fear for one’s wealth, and having faith that a sincere act of giving can only bring abundant reward to the giver.
Personally, I it doesn't matter your faith or belief system. I suppose what matters most is that you believe something. Also, it doesn't matter what you give, or how much you give, but that you give something. It can be money, talents, food, water, smiles, hugs, compassion, or simply your time.
A Universal Law states:
So, I say, SOW A LOT (like more than 10%) and just maybe (read: quite likely) you will REAP A LOT. Kind of a no-brainer, if you ask me.
My GIVING RECIPE for the rest of your week:
- Be Happy
- Give Something To Someone
- Give Willingly + With No Expectations
- See What Happens!