I have a lot on my mind today. I had an idea for this blog title about a week or so ago at the hight of all the brouhaha over the Syrian refugee thing, but I realized the more I thought about it that it encompasses so much more of our daily lives. And as I sit and write this, it even touches on what is heavy on my mind and heart today (Which by the way, I’m not writing about. So.. if you want to stop reading now. It’s ok)
What happens to us when we give? It can have a lot to do with perspective I guess. Some people give with the expectation of receiving something in return. Praise, recognition, compensation of some sort. Those people generally become angry or bitter when the result of giving does not meet there expectations. There are those who give simply to help someone else. Sometimes the expectation is that this person will use the gift to help or better themselves. And when they do not, that can also lead to anger or bitterness.
Some people give without any expectation. For example, when you buy the groceries for the person on the grocery line behind you that you’ve never met or will probably never see again. When you buy coffee for the car in the line behind you. When you give to a charity. You may never know, or see how it touches that person. But it generally leaves you feeling good, doesn’t it? But can you give in that manner to those that are close to you? You say “Sure. Why wouldn’t I?” What if it was a regular thing? There are those that would never ask you for your gift. Ever. I find that when giving to those that do not ask…. I don’t think back on all the times I have given of myself to them. I don’t count all the times I have helped them. It doesn’t matter. But to those who expect the gift. Who ask for the gift, repeatedly, over and over again. That can become tiresome sometimes. Especially when there are those who could also use your gift who will actually benefit from it in some sort of life altering way.
However, it is human nature to feel as though we should be somehow recognized in someway for giving. It is rare to find ourselves giving just for the sake of doing it. Buying the coffee for the people behind me is nothing. It’s just money. I can make more. I don’t need it at the moment. It does not require recognition. Cooking for my family. This is nothing. It is something I do out of love. It is enough to see them enjoy the meal. But these are small things.
Where do our limits begin? For some it is as simple as giving a homeless person money. For some it is sharing space. For some it is giving love. There are always expectations. One can’t really say there isn’t. If I give money to a homeless person, I expect for him/her to buy food, or warmth or shelter. There is a 75% chance that in all likelihood they will buy drugs or alcohol. And quite frankly, who can blame them? When we take someone into our homes or we give them shelter, we expect them to be respectful of us, our possessions, and our space. When we give someone our heart, our love, we expect, at the very least for their respect. Even less… maybe they could just treat us with respect, even if they aren’t capable of actually giving it. We want their love in return. But for those who understand that the only person in life that you can control is you…. we get that sometimes that is not the case. And there are so many facets to that… it could encompass a lot of blogs.
I have been a loving person my whole life. Giving of myself to those I care about sometimes to my own detriment. I have taken those lessons and attempted to use them to shape myself in a better way. By attempting to be aware of people that will hurt me, and to distance myself from them. I fear loving someone, because when I do it becomes all encompassing. I love them with all of me. There in lies my fear. That I will love someone with every fiber of my being. In a way that I cannot clearly define with words. In a way I often wonder if another person is even able to comprehend. I have come to realize that no other person on the planet will probably ever be able to love me in that way. And the only being in the universe who does is God. That possibly imaginary being that I was taught to believe in and always come back to. The one who resides inside me and has from birth that gives me the drive to give. To be loving. To serve. To share. To help. Without expectation.
I fear that in giving of myself and being turned away, I will end up alone. That all this love I have overflowing will be unreturned and will fall wasted upon the ground. And that I am incapable of finding another way to direct it towards those who are deserving in a manner that will satisfy me and not leave me disappointed. It’s not selfless at all. I wish it were. Even if we don’t get to chose who we love.
What do we fear by helping refugees? Yes, back to that. We fear our safety. We forget to do the research on our own and listen to the fear and hate mongers. What people fail to understand is that there have been, are, and always will be those in the world who wish to dominate and destroy us. There is evil in the world. But the media has given it a face and failed to place the face in all the many places it belongs. So now, we as a whole have a focus… that is very displaced and false. But hey… that’s what they want, right?
The fear of giving essential is taught to us by experience. The experience of pain, of loss, of loneliness, and all those other negative emotions that keep us from succeeding in life. Essentially, I blame it on “the man.” LOL It’s all been orchestrated from the start.
We may not have control of what we fear. But we do have control of our response. And sometimes when we conquer our fear, we make an amazing difference in the world simply by allowing that to be witnessed by others. Giving is much like a yawn. Quite contagious. Some would say that it is an uncontrolled form of empathy. Are you afraid of a yawn?
Anyways… just some of my personal thoughts on giving. I have a lot more. but it is just getting disjointed and not focused, so time to peace out, my babies.