"Give. Giving makes others happy."
~~A. age 9
That quote above is from my daughter. I found it one day in her sketch pad. My heart melted. We taught her that. We taught our kids to give selflessly, to spread kindness, to make others happy. It is the ONE lesson I know I have not screwed up, it is the ONE lesson I never want them to forget. The lesson goes deeper and I hope that will come to them with time. The deeper lesson is giving unconditionally because it makes you happy. Never with strings attached, never with stipulations, never with conditions.
A while back my friends and I were discussing holiday and celebratory cards. My friend asked me, "How can you mail the same person, year after year, and know they are never going to send one back? I'm not sending the card because I want one back. I'm sending the card because I love that person. I want them to know that. I want to imagine they get the card and can't help but smile when they see who it's from. I want to make their day a little more special. So, every year on their birthday, anniversary, Christmas, or for no special day at all I send a card. Always just to show them I am thinking of them. Never with anticipation of getting one in return. "Giving makes others happy" (and me too).
This week I have a heavy heart. So many things happened in the span of 24 hours that just left me heartbroken and feeling down. Not everything was devastating, but the emotional ride was an exhausting one. This morning I knew I had to do something to aid in healing my heart. I thought about what my daughter had written and it hit me. I needed to start The Giving Project.
So I found some pretty stationary (those close to me know I have a thing for pretty stationary) and in a "coincidence or phenomenon" moment I noticed the name on the stationary box is, Reasons To Be. Perfect for what I was about to do. I set about copying my daughter's words down. I also took some of the heaviness in my heart and put it to paper; explaining what I was doing, then I took off for a couple of drive through restaurants.
I hope that my giving made someone else's heart happy today. It definitely helped make my own heart happier. My giving project has only just begun. I can't wait to do it again, I can't wait to reel my kids into this project, to see how they will give. I can't wait for them to not only learn the deeper lesson, but to FEEL the deeper lesson.
I challenge everyone who reads this to start their own Giving Project. Get out there and give. Unconditionally, without strings attached, and never with anticipation of getting anything in return. Although, by doing this I guarantee you'll get quite a bit in return.
"Give. Giving makes others happy" (and it just might make you happy too)