The first image many of us conjure when we hear the word gifts is the stereotypical, elaborately wrapped boxes, covered with ribbons and bows, piled high under a Christmas tree. In reality, gifts come in an assortment of packages (intent) with an array of usefulness.
I firmly believe that gifting one’s self is far more difficult, and, as a result, way more rewarding than simply purchasing and wrapping up the latest device or fad.
The most common excuses, that I hear, for not helping others, in this insanely competitive world of “dog-eat-dog,” is “they” should “pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps” and “no one helped me get where I am today.” Much of their reasoning focuses on a political stance that misrepresents asking for assistance as “cheating the system” or “free-loading.”
Beyond the multiple misspellings and straight-up bad word usage, this meme, which recently popped up in my social media news feed, is a prime example of that attitude and it absolutely infuriates me: “Having a good heart only attracts beggers, lairs, leeches, users, takers, the ungratefuls, and the unappreciatives.” I mean, really - they are going to be an inconsiderate, self-serving jerk (read *sshole) because their kindness might be abused and under-appreciated by a few. If this is the case, they may want to reconsider their motivation, as well as the people they surround themselves with.
True giving is about selflessly bestowing sincere kindness, for the good of all, by sharing your time, resources, and expertise, in acknowledgment of your love, esteem, and appreciation, without expectations of reciprocation. It is not about egotistical gain or placing your ideology upon others.
Sharing our truest, deepest selves is at the very core of what makes us all human. I am profoundly grateful for the privilege of knowing and working with exceptionally gracious folks who consistently go out of their way for others, by listening and responding with empathy. And, who, in doing so, recognize that the risk of placing themselves in a vulnerable position by being open-minded and generous is negligible compared to the life-changing benefits for everyone. I trust that, together, giving and receiving, in gratitude, we will build the framework for community compassion.
DRC’s new home requires some work before we can move in. We are currently talking to folks who can help with the electrical issues. A fence needs to be installed, as well. We hope to hear soon that our request of a donation for chain-link fence has been approved by a local retailer.
We are planning a work day, next Sat. Oct. 13th to install the fence, do some yard work, and repaint the old facility. Some SLU students will be helping out for their Make a Difference Day, but we would love to have some additional volunteer labor.
The house also needs to have the roof replaced before snow flies. And, there are some tree limbs growing onto the roof that need to be removed. If you know of anyone who can assist with these skilled jobs, please let us know. Thanks!