There is always more to give.
I look around my home and continue to find little things I can pass on. Books to a neighbor, clothes to a thrift store, a plate full of cookies from an extra large batch.
That part is easy. After all, it is just “stuff.” An ongoing house cleaning, never ending as we always seem to acquire new things as we give the old away. But there is far more to giving than a simplifying of our lives and of the clutter around us.
I suppose it’s just part of human nature, a trait within us all that creates a smile as we give a gift. You know that sense inside. You feel good. I’m not saying giving is selfish. We are not motivated to do it because of how it makes us feel. But when we do give, there is that special reward that follows. It is a simple way of making our world just a little bit better. One gift at a time.
I do not give enough. It has been a challenge to find ways and means to give, to reach out, to volunteer from such a remote location. Sure, I could send checks in mail or donations over the internet, I know… but what if I want to give the most valuable gift of all: my time?
Last New Years, the start of 2008, the three of us made resolutions not about giving up, but about giving. Volunteering. Finding ways and means to give of ourselves when we live so remotely was not easy. What could we do from such a distance that would still hopefully help in some small way?
The lover of the land that I am, I signed up for environmental program monitoring frogs on the mountain (yes, we do have frogs!). With a brother serving over in Afghanistan, Bob agreed to mail over packages of our used clothing for the needy over there.
Forrest decided to grow his hair to donate to Locks of Love. He estimated it would take a year to reach the minimum required length of ten inches. It took longer than expected, but this week he finally reached his goal. We had the cutting ceremony, and then trimmed up what was left behind. The long hair had become an annoyance at times, yet he had a commitment, and a responsibility to fulfill. He chose to wait it out, and was rewarded by being able to present a gift representing time.
We stress the importance to Forrest of giving, teaching by example and by encouragement of his actions. It continues to be a challenge from up here, but with creativity, he finds ways. Last winter, he was able to participate in the organized efforts to feed the elk suffering from the extremely harsh winter. This year, he helped out a neighbor, staying alone on their ranch caring for their menagerie. He has written the CDOW officer who covers this area and requested if there was any way he could help out from up here on the mountain. Unfortunately in this case, the CDOW officer has yet to write back. I ask myself what kind of person can ignore a 15 year old kid who writes with hopes of volunteering? There are always disappointments. Perhaps we should be hardened to such. As one friend says, we can expect the disappointments, expect to be disappointed in life. And when we are not, we can be pleasantly surprised. I don’t know if I want to go through life like that. I truly believe in more. I expect more. And I’m willing to give more. So yes, I also may be hurt more.
And yet, just when we are about to give up hope in our fellow man…
A few weeks ago, I lost a two year old horse. A group of very special friends, a volunteer group called Paws to Go from the Fellowship Church, took their time to write me notes, simple words of understanding. When I received each one in the mail, it was like getting a hug or an understanding hand on my shoulder. It was a beautiful gesture and a great help to me to know I was not alone in my grieving. A reminder to me of what positive effects our acts of thoughtfulness and kindness can have on each other. And then, to consider what each of them might be going through? There are good people. I do not give up hope.
And so I am reminded of people who can give, even when they may be in greater need than myself. And reminded what a beautiful thing the gift of time can be – even if it is a simple act of sending a caring note in the mail.
I have plenty to give, though I need to remember to take the time to give the most valuable things I have: my time
It is so easy to find excuses; I do not have enough time. Perhaps I do not take enough time. But when we remember what a difference our time can make…
These are interesting times. Hard times for many. Yet I see it bringing out the best in so many. Perhaps we all need a shake up every once in a while to stop and take a look around and remember how much we have, remember how much we still can give.