Lessons from a Reluctant Giver

Growing up, I always thought that you had to do big, grand things to give to others.  Traveling to other countries, spending months in a soup kitchen, selling all of your worldly possessions to donate to charity. And I had a real problem with giving to others – because I wasn’t really wired that way.  I like to stay home, I don’t really want to spend my time that way and I like the small amount of things I own.  I always felt like this was a problem, because I was so reluctant to help others in these ways, it made me feel selfish and embarrassed.  But over the years, I’ve learned something about giving that really helped to change my perspective.

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Use your gifts to help others. A few years ago, I heard a saying about “using your gifts” to serve a greater purpose and it really clicked for me.  I love to organize (wait for it) and I can use this to help others!  Sorting clothes, organizing a food pantry and helping others improve their lives through organization. Love it (really, I do love it).  This was something I could do and it would help others.  And once I figured this out, I began to invest my time in a different kind of service – behind the scenes and making sure the processes & operations were in place to help make things run smoothly.  I love to systematically manage the details to accomplish the bigger picture – I do it for myself all of the time, and after realizing this was part of service, I now invest in tasks, projects and programs that will also help others. So if I ever volunteer to help you organize, I’m serious when I say I’d love to help.

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