We all know that it’s great to give to others. That when we give to others we give to ourselves. That when we give we also receive.
Why is it then that some very generous and very heart-felt people give and give and give and feel they get nothing back in return?
There are many light workers or spiritually focused people who are committed to making the world a better place and they often give generously of their time, their advice and their hearts, and at the same time their bank balances run dry, their own health suffers, and their own worlds falling apart in the process.
The common advice is that you need to give to yourself first, start loving yourself more and be good at “receiving”. The interesting thing is often when people heed this advice, they go in the opposite direction. They become self-centred and selfish. They do give to themselves first and in the process stop giving to others.
Somewhere along the line people realise that the key is to do both. Some then take the view of “I’ll give to others on the condition that I receive something in return.”
“I’ll shower you with love/gifts/generosity but I am doing it because I want you to recognise me or give me validation or give me something else in return.”
We’ve all done it at some point. This kind of giving doesn’t come from the heart. Nor does it create abundance. Instead, it sets us up for failure.
To be blunt, it’s manipulation. And when we consider that “like attracts like” what we attract is people who want to manipulate us.
Here’s another self-defeating outcome that this kind of giving attracts…
When we give expecting to receive a certain reward in return we often do receive a reward but it doesn’t come in teh precise form that we expect to receive it in so we don’t recognise it as a “gift”.
So what’s the answer?
Give to others ahead of yourself?
Give to yourself first then give to others?
Give to others anticipating that you’ll receive something back?
The answer is none of the above and all of the above.
When we truly give just for the sake of it, because we love helping others, the act of giving makes us feel good, (regardless of whether or not the recipient appreciates the gift) and that is our reward. It fills us with gratitude and we grow as people.
The key is also in developing the ability to receive. When we do that, we give to others just for the joy of giving, knowing that we’ll be looked after. The hidden agendas goes out the window and as soon as that hidden agenda leaves, the abundance flows naturally.
“Giving” in business … a few years ago it was a dirty word or at best a “woowoo” kind of thing that either big companies or hippies would do. Today, more and more businesses are recognising that not only does is feel great making a difference in people’s lives, it also makes good financial sense.
As we enter 2012 we recognise that thriving in business isn’t about US vs THEM. Nor is it about chasing the buck at all cost. It’s about truly making a difference in the lives of the people we serve. And interestingly, the more we do that — the more love and compassion we share — the more it comes back to us in many wondrous and surprising forms, including financial gain.
This morning I received an email from an old friend and mentor, Paul Dunn who is the Chairman of Buy1GIVE1, an organisation that puts the business of giving on steroids. When I read his email and saw the level of impact they are having in the world, I was gob-smacked.
Buy1GIVE1 connects small business with worthy causes making it easy for its members to give in a tangible way — in a way where ALL the proceeds go to the intended recipients instead of getting eaten up in administration charges.
One of the really cool things that B1G1 does is it enables business owners to tailor the nature of their giving to their industry. For instance, a restaurant may donate a meal to a starving person in India whenever anyone dines in their restaurant. And the benefits of doing that have a ripple effect. Not only is that restaurant making a difference, but their customers also feel that eating at the restaurant means they’re helping make a difference to someone in need. And – of course, the recipient benefits greatly too.
Check out the email below to see the level of impact that this kind of giving is having in the world.
Because of our B1G1 Business Members and Partners, this is what we did together up to the end of 2011:
- 122,673 people received a nourishing meal
- 5,828,164 days of access to life-saving water was given to people around the world
- 191,436 days of accommodation was given to people affected by natural disasters or extreme poverty
- 16,655 children received an improved learning environment for a year
- 467,767 days of education support was given to children in need
- 11,396 children received computer education for a day
- 69,360 children in need received learning tools like text books and stationery
- 170,204 days of education and occupational training was given to disadvantaged people
- 3,967 children in need received a special gift
- 4,549 children received a special education program
- 7,839 days of support was given to social entrepreneurs
- 2,844 goats and other animals were given to families so that they can have income
- 550,121 days worth of support was given to farmers around the world
- 39,900 people received internet or phone connection for a day
- 344398 days of support was given to improve people’s health and well-being
- 182,843 square meters of rainforest was protected
- 14,936 trees got planted or adopted
- and more!
Amazing isn’t it? Being able to make a difference just by doing what we normally do in business is such a simple yet powerful idea. And it clearly makes a huge difference.
We can onlydo that thanks to people like you who play a part in and spread the word about B1G1.
We’re enormously privileged to be able to do what we do. And we’re truly grateful as we look forward to impacting at even higher levels in 2012 as word continues to spread.
Again, thank you.
With very best wishes for an amazing New Year ahead.
Chairman, Buy1GIVE1 (B1G1)
To read more about what B1G1 is doing in the world, check out their website at http://www.b1g1.com/.
What a day!
This morning I drove my children from the Sunshine Coast to Brisbane to spend some time with their dad. It was pelting down, water over the road and water lapping against the bridges as we crossed them. For us, it was a little scary but more so it was an adventure. Then – I dropped the boys off and returned home, and my sense of adventure soon turned to an overwhelming sense of grief as I turned on the TV.
Like you, I saw footage of the devastation that had occurred in Toowoomba in particular, footage of a family in a vehicle in the last moments of their lives as they were washed down flood waters caused by the 8 metre inland tsunami.