"All you have shall someday be given;
Therefore, give now,
that the season of giving may be yours."
- Kahlil Gibran
Welcome to our new readers. As we enter a new year, I try to keep in mind the following wisdoms, when we are dependent on others to help us move about, to feed us, to bathe us, and even to help us in the bathroom, we may easily forget that there are many other ways that we can give besides those that require physical strength and full mobility:
• We give through caring, sharing, loving; through being a good listener when others close to us want to share their thoughts and feelings.
• We give by offering little intimacies with those we care about -- offering a foot massage, a back rub, even telling a joke.
• We give from the heart by sharing our vulnerabilities and expressing our emotions, through forgiveness of ourselves and others.
• We give by discovering our own qualities and finding ways that can make a positive difference in someone else's life. These qualities might include compassion, understanding, courage, clarity, perseverance, inner strength, purpose, encouragement, inspiration, humor, enthusiasm, joy, truth, gratitude, spontaneity, thoughtfulness, appreciation, and intention.
• We give by learning the joy of giving without conditions or attachments, be it through money, wisdom, time, creativity, a special skill, our life experience, or our heart.
There's also a special lesson in anonymous giving, one that has to do with learning the pleasure of giving without expecting to receive anything back.
Here's some examples of anonymous giving:
• Anonymously send flowers to a nurse, doctor or other medical professional who works hard but rarely receives acknowledgement .
• Leave some extra time on your parking meter for the next person.
• Anonymously pay a bill for a friend who is having financial difficulties.
• Buy two concert tickets and give them away anonymously.
• Pay the bridge toll for the five cars behind you, then drive on without turning around for the reaction.
Be on the look out, as you go through the day, for ways that you can add to this list, keeping both your friends and strangers in mind. Be creative and have fun!
Welcome to the promise of the new year.
A portion of this article was excerpted from You Are Not Your Illness, pp. 168-69.
Wheelchair Wisdom: Awaken Your Spirit through Adversity is now available on Amazon, as well as your favorite book sellers. We had an amazing Kirkus Review last month!