If it’s one thing I’ve learned thus far it’s that everything in life is connected in some way shape or form. And by connected I mean that there is a link between you, myself and the rest of the world. A link, in my humble opinion, that means we are responsible for one another.
If you are anything like me, you may find it difficult to walk past another human being who happens to be asking or perhaps even begging for money. If I have it in my pocket, I feel compelled to give. Sort of like it’s a requirement to share what God has blessed me with. And this may sound weird, but if I have it and decide not to give for whatever reason, I often feel guilty especially since I feel like it’s an obligation. My belief that we are all connected causes me to help because I could very well be on the difficult end of making the ask. If I don’t help, I feel as if I am interrupting the ebb and flow of the law of reciprocity.
The concept for the law of reciprocity is quite simple: what goes around comes right back around. The law of reciprocity allows us to receive as a result of what we give or do. If you are wondering why you may be experiencing lack, it is most likely because you are not giving. If you are giving yet notice that you are not receiving, then it may be because you are not giving from the heart. Mother Teresa once said, “It’s not about how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” One should not give for the sake of getting back.
To whom much is given, so much more is required. It’s not just a biblical principle; it’s a way of life.
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There are so many people who need help in the world. Most people think that it is impossible to help them all. Yet if we try to help one person that may very well open the flood gates that will allow countless others to receive help. Our action can lead to subsequent actions if we pay it forward. Most of us are fortunate enough to have food to eat and a roof over our heads. Unfortunately, that is not a fact for a greater part of the world. That may sound extreme but you truly don’t realize what you have until you see others living without it or until it’s gone.
Never think that what you are able to give won’t make a dent in the problem; not giving at all is so much worse. Some people restrict from giving because they think that the “little” they are able to give won’t make a difference at all. I am here to tell you that every little bit counts. There is something special that occurs when we give. When we give, not only do we open ourselves up to we receive but we begin a cycle of blessings that begin to trickle down. What we receive may not be the gift given but the satisfaction in knowing that your gift will change a life should be blessing enough. Be the gift that changes a life.
The Law of Reciprocity is such that what we give, we absolutely should expect to get back in-kind. Not giving anything will yield similar results; you get nothing. Do not give because you now know that you can expect to reap what you sow; give because your heart tells you to give. I give because I love. I give because I understand that we are all connected. I give because I know that my gifts will change a life. I give because I never know if I’ll ever be on the receiving end. I give because I feel it is my duty to give simply because to whom much is given, so much more is expected.
There was a time when I needed help and help came to me. That is one of the reasons why I give without thinking twice. I challenge you to give your time, your treasure or both if you can. Giving doesn’t just have to be restricted to money; you can give your time to improve the lives of others. Believe it or not, your time is worth more than money. Volunteer your time to improve the lives of others.
If you are not giving back, essentially you are taking from.
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It truly takes a village to raise a child. As we age in years it seems to me that we stray farther and farther away from this concept. The evidence is in the fact that I can almost guarantee that you don’t know all of your neighbors who live within a thousand foot radius. That’s just the half of it. The other half lies in the fact that when we see someone doing wrong, especially a child, not only do we not attempt to assist or redirect the child, we don’t even bother to communicate with their parents; falsely adopting the concept of every man for himself or not wanting to intrude. There was a time when people cared for the well-being of others, even if they weren’t directly related to them.
Growing up I knew I had some of the best people around me who cared about my well-being and the interesting thing about it is none of them were my parents nor were they relatives. Not saying that my parents didn’t care, surely they did what they could with what they had for as long as they could. It’s just that since I was left to fend for myself at the age of thirteen, it seemed like the universe provided people who would sort of step in to redirect me in the way that I should go.
In middle school, due to the fact that I did not have two pennies to rub together, I was forced to wear the same clothes to school every day. No, back then schools did not have uniform policies; that sure would’ve made my life a lot easier. One day a teacher named Mrs. Tannenbaum asked me to stay after class for a few minutes to discuss something; I was certain I was in trouble for something. While I was an excellent student, my conduct wasn’t always the best. The bell finally rang, the classroom quickly cleared and the thunderous roar of the students rushing out of the classroom lowered to a deafening silence. Mrs. Tannenbaum asked me to sit and said, “You and my son are about the same size and he has some clothes that he no longer wears and I want you to have them.”
I was elated and shocked at the same time. I never knew that anyone cared and certainly didn’t know that anyone cared enough to do something about it. What shocked me the most was that she was willing to assist without judging or knowing the facts that lead to why I was wearing the same clothes to school every day. Oftentimes when we see someone in need, we automatically prejudge their circumstances and want to know why and how they got there. Understand that it doesn’t matter how they got there, what matters is if you’re willing to help them get to the next chapter.
I will never forget what Mrs. Tannenbaum did for me and it certainly has helped to foster the philanthropic spirit in me today. Judging is not reserved for man which is why I give without asking why. I give without wondering how they got to this point and I encourage you to do the same. She gave me hope in a better tomorrow because I knew at least one person cared. Be that one person who shows they care by giving to someone in need, you never know where it might lead them.
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