Selfless Giving

Think about this for a minute: why do you do a good deed? How does it make you feel for having done it-or already thinking about it? If you get that warm fuzzy self-satisfied feeling in your chest, you have done it for the wrong reason. That feeling is your indication that you have done the Good to make yourself feel better about yourself, not to truly help someone. Only when you can give without that feeling is it really giving. Only when there are no strings attached, no expectations of some kind of return, or no preference for the outcome, is the deed done unselfishly.

When we see a need, such as warm clothing or food for the homeless in winter, to give anonymously and fade into the crowd is far better than to make a big deal about it. Of course, to give something someone needs and see the gratitude in their eyes is fine as long as you look into their eyes with love and acceptance. Let them know that they are only experiencing a permanent setback and they are nevertheless seen as worthwhile people. Most people don’t have that experience though-they stand around waiting for profuse thanks and try to avoid seeing the thorough need in the eyes of the recipient of their gift.

Those who give to shelters might understand this better, especially if they just drop off bags of clothing or food, without waiting for some kind of gratitude to be shown. One can already enjoy the giving more if using one’s talents. Those who are expert bargain shoppers can put that skill to work by asking the local battered woman’s shelter what items are needed and then going out to find them. By making the dollar stretch further, more items can be provided for at all event amount the bargain shopper can provide to give.

One such person, with time to kill between appointments of her job, liked to take the list of needed items to the bargain outlets. Whenever she had a few dollars to donate, she shopped the clearance racks for the items. Each week she was able to donate bags of clothing and toys for the moms and kids who had left home with nothing but the clothes on their backs. She never told the shelter workers what she was doing nor did she wait for the exclamations of astonishment and gratitude that were sure to follow.

The only reason anyone else ever knew of her contributions was when they asked her how they could help others more, given a small amount of cash. instead of sending cash that would be mostly spent on administration costs, the people wanted their gifts to truly reach those in need. Bargain shoppers loved the idea of giving more direct help by doing what they love to do. The woman suggested they remove the outlet tags but leave the original tags, so the recipients would feel the love and care of the givers-so they could start their new lives with heads held high, knowing that someone cared.

It’s a small thing for a small amount of cash that filled a need. It also filled a need that no one voiced: the need for a shot of self-esteem and connection. For both the bargain shopping givers and the recipients in need, a greater connection of heart energy was generated. For less than fifty dollars several children could have new brand-name clothes and cuddly stuffed animals and a bruised and shattered mom could have a few nice blouses.

Others give trunks complete of food to the local food edges and homeless shelters. Shopping the weekly grocery store bargains can fulfill the needs of a family trying to survive on less than most people use for an evening out at the movies. By asking the food bank volunteers what people are requesting one can help with that need also. Meat, milk, eggs and coffee can go a long way towards helping a struggling person keep enough self-esteem to keep looking for work. While most grocery stores give their stale and soon to expire items to the food edges, not all of it is good. Bargain shoppers can help by providing fresh foods and items the food edges don’t typically receive.

By examining the reasons behind the performing of good deeds and taking a little time to determine how to best fill needs, we can deliver much better help to those in need. To give because one can, without expectations attached, brings us all closer to that heart connection that is our true inheritance from the universal consciousness that we call God. To help each other, by that heart connection, is to become more Human.

©2010 Dr.Valerie Olmsted All Rights Reserved

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