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Monday, February 07, 2005

Giving

Ok, so Giving stops by my little table today. She sits down, exhausted, picks up my IS2PWM (iced, soy, 2 pump white mocha) hands it to me, looks me in the eyes and says, "I've been looking for you! I have something for you!"

She smiles and says that there is a Message she wants me to pass to Others. She said "No charge, no late fees, keep it as long as you want."

"How Blockbuster," I thought. But, she's always thinking of Others. I guess that's why I always look forward to seeing her. I guess that's a Reason for a lot of Things.

So, Giving has these kind eyes that warm your soul. When she looks at you, you know Something Good is coming. But, today, her look was different - she had this "It's Important" look - and when she gets that look in her eyes, I know I'm supposed to get my laptop into Word mode and start typing, again.

So, while I'm killing all the IMs (Instant Messages), the Barista Guy comes over and hands her a White Chocolate Raspberry Scone (Does she even eat?), a glass of Ice Water, and a Skinny White Mocha. "Nectar of the Gods" she whispers. For some reason, Barista Guy wouldn't take her money... Don't know what that's about, though. But, he seemed Very Happy not taking her money and that's not like Barista Guy Who Carries His Tip Jar With Him.

"Thank You, Dear," Giving offers Barista Guy, with a wink. Dang, she's got a Way with People.. Infectious.

Anyways, she sips the Nectar of the Gods, looks around, and in a really quite voice says, "Ok, the Holidays are gone. Another Season of Giving come and gone and, still, people just arent' getting it. "

"Huh?" She totally lost me.

"It's like this: It's all my fault. Year after year after year I look forward to the Season, I go to the Malls, I sacrifice my Saving For a Rainy Day Fund (she loves to shop with Willingly and Joyfully). I call up Excited and we go to all the Holiday Get Togethers."

Then, Giving gets this kinda Sad look on her face and continues, "So, on the Big Day of Giving, I sit and watch Disappointment run through the room, hugging all those People Getting Gifts. He gets them to do all these things, like making that 'Fake Like You Like It' look and then telling them to 'Say Something Vaguely Appreciative' when they open up their presents and see things like Boxer Shorts and Neck Ties and Cook Books"

Giving continued, "Year after Year I think, 'This is a fluke' and 'I'll help them do better next year' cause I'll Work Out Extra and Eat Healthy and then, I'll have more energy to offer up when helping others with the Giving of Gifts exercises. But, yesterday, it hit me."

"I've had this whole thing wrong for so long," She sighed. "This isn't a 'One Time' failure. All Year, on almost every occasion, this happens with someone. But, I don't notice it as much unless it happens on the Big Day of Giving right in front of me."

So, I'm not sure where she's taking this. So, I'm like "Giving, where you taking this?"

She offers up that smile and says, "You see, People can go to Band Camp and learn to play the tuba. People can go to Soccer Camp and learn how to do a bicycle kick. People can go to Boy Scout camp and learn to ... ok, so you get the picture. The Big Picture. You see, I haven't done a good job of sharing the only thing I'm really good at... Giving. "

"Not a worry in the world, dear", I tell her. You talk. I'll type. My time is your time. Because that's what We Friends do for each other at Times Like This.

So, Giving starts like this, "You know, when I think about The Right Way to give, it's so hard. Because really, there's no wrong way. There's just different ways, but some are right for some people and wrong for others. But, don't type any of that, cause I'm just thinking out loud"

"LOL" I type accidently.

"Ok, I think I got it," Giving continued "So, I want to make sure I provide the Basics.. the 5 Essentials to Giving. Now, make sure when you type this, that you type it in a way where people know that Giving Anything is usually better than Giving Nothing. Also, make sure they know that Giving Time and Attention Cost Nothing and that... ok, we'll figure out how to communicate that other stuff later, k?"

Dang, did it again - typed "LOL".

Then, Giving got kinda serious, "Ok, basically, there's 5 Energies that go into Giving," she says. "Legendary Gift Givers always do all 5 things.. and their Gifts have the most Energy."

Even, I know that Disappointment HATES Good Intentions and Energy when they show up together with Giving at the same place. But, that's Another Story for Another Time.

Giving continued, "If most people had Good Intentions and Good Energy, they'd do these things naturally - one of those quirky Laws of Nature that we don't like to think about. But these 5 Essential Things are so way easy they can become a Habit.. a Giving Habit..

First thing: Attend to People. When you're with someone, give them your Attention. Also, pay attention to what they give Attention to. In between every word they say and every glance they cast, they're giving Attention to something. Take note of what People naturally give their Attention to because that enables you to do the Second Thing: Realize a Gift Opportunity. You see, at some point, when you're giving Attention to someone else, you'll notice Someone wanting or needing something in particular. Lots of times, people drop hints about things they need, but would never give get for themself. It's sweet how many people secretly want things, but would never think it was important enough to get it for themself because they think it's more important to use that money or energy to get something to give to someone else."

"That's definately One of Those Little Things that Gives Me Hope," she commented.

Then, she continued with more focus, "So, when you realize that there's something someone wants or needs, you're able to do the Third Thing: Remember the Gift Opportunity. Jot it down, call yourself and leave a voicemail, send a text message, or tell someone else even - if you have to - because there's no rules to 'how' you remember. Either way, you see, it takes energy to not only Attend and Realize, but to not forget. Because if you forget, all that energy is lost. But, if you remember, then you can go out and do the Fourth Thing: Acquiring the Gift. This is generally The Fun Part and you know how people tend to skip straight to The Fun Part. You see, Disappointment loves it when you skip straight here, cause that means you aren't going to the party and giving with Good Intentions and Energy. And actually, it's totally bad energy to just acquire something and give it, cause you're just passing on material things and not Giving of Your Self - or Giving of Your Time and Your Attention. But, if you do all 5, then when you do the Fifth Thing: Delivering the Gift, you'll never, ever ever see Disappointment at that time. Just don't forget that how you deliver it can make it extra special. Lots of folks miss this part. They just grab the Target bag out of the closet and tie it and consider it wrapped. Ugh. Those are the biggest disasters.. when people just don't finish strong." Then, Giving, kinda giggled. "So many funny stories to tell, you know?"

"Oh my Gosh," Giving suddenly bursts out. "Holy Moly, I've so got to go. So many things to do and so little time to work with". She's kinda cute when she gets all flustered.

"So" Giving says, "you think you can type all that out and put that somewhere? You know I'm not one to ask for anything, but I really would like for people to get this and you're the best person for it cause you know how to use that Spider Web thingy and you have my email addy so you can just send me the linky dinky, cool? Of course, I have Something Special for you when you're done, cause I don't expect you to work for Free"

"Don't be silly" I said. She knows better. It's just the way some people work, I guess. But she always offers.

And off she went.

Giving, like she always does, always leaves me with such energy. There must be something to that. Cause my IS2PWM is empty and I'm not craving another. Hmm. That's weird. Food for Thought, I guess. No time, though, have to get this out for Giving, cause I know she'll appreciate it.

2 comments:

Echele said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dr. H said...

See... I knew you would do a better job at writing about Such Things. I would have put -- it's not about debit and credit and balancing the account. It's about taking the moments and making them count. It's about appreciating the opportunity to make connection in that very moment, because you don't know if you will ever have those moments again.

I think I can learn a lot from your Habits of Giving. I am so not there yet. But I would like to be.