Giving up. I mentioned this briefly yesterday, yet it is something we could talk about indefinitely. In an e-mail I received this morning, I read “I am spoiled and have too much.” This was written by, no surprise, one of the most generous persons I know – the person who probably has given away more in her lifetime, certainly more in the few years I have know her, and who I feel in fact has less than many of us. The person who showed me some of the best of life in the simplest pleasures (holding a grandchild, feeding the birds, reading, visiting friends…). She has lived more simply and given up more, while still allowing a comfortable life and home for friends and family to visit, than anyone I know. And with what she has left, she has time and she volunteers (a huge appreciation and respect goes out to those wonderful women I know who dedicate so much of themselves to volunteer work). She’s been one of the best role models, and one of the best teachers for a great deal of what I love to do – from baking bread, to milking goats and making cheese, to canning and making jam, to sharing time with friends, and remembering the importance of sitting down to visit over a good cup of coffee.
Where does that put the rest of us?
Most of us spend a lifetime amassing more. Not seeing how much we can give, and how little we can keep.
I suppose we can start by taking a quick look around us and inside us and think about how much can we give up and still be comfortable, not feel deprived? We all have a different comfort level, a different need level. There is not one right answer here. It’s different for each of us. But unless we look inside, give it a really good look, we will not know the answer, we will not know ourselves, we will not know what we are hoarding onto that we could be sharing, we could be giving. There is so much more to “giving up.” To start with, there is “giving.”