We are all here on earth to help others; what on earth the others are here for, I don’t know.
— John Foster Hall
All givers will tell you they gain as much or more than they give.
The man behind our furniture flashflood — Paul, mentioned in The power in putting it out there and The physics of giving — was thrilled his very personal pieces were going to people he knew would treasure them the way he did. It was palpable on his face, in his voice.
We knew exactly how he felt. A couple of years before the financial crash we decided to downsize, minimize, simplicize! Then came the capsize . . . and through it all we found ourselves elated as objects, clothing, books, furniture, kitchenware, underwear (noooo, of course not silly), all manner of things big and small found their way to a more meaningful life elsewhere.
I am surrounded by givers, people who give of themselves carelessly like an inebriated patron at the bar shouting “Another round for everybody, on me!” Some must remain unacknowledged for now for their own reasons (that would be you C & C!), others will be outed in future articles.
However, let this moment be about Paul. He’s gone through his own acutely constricted circumstances — he’s a real estate agent, need I say more? — and yet, and yet, finds it within himself to give freely to others wherever he can.
Paul epitomizes the best of the givers on this earth — even when life dealt him a bitch slap, he was juiced to give where he could, and plentifully.
I’ve heard this said about the impoverished in other countries, who will offer a traveler food when they have enough only for the week . . . I’ve found this to be true in our own country when I roam; assistance comes most from those with the lowest incomes . . .
What is this elation that comes from giving unexpectedly?
It is the euphoria of contribution. When are we most euphoric? Other than raw fun, it is when we contribute.
Contribution comes in many forms . . . achievement, innovation, service . . . parenthood, friendship, mentoring . . . working, planting, creating . . . more, of course, so much more . . . and helping.
Here’s a prescription if you ever feel weighted down:
Get up — go forth — get high. The giver’s high.
Posts from the same series