Why are we inclined to give to others?
On my daily commute to work, I am becoming more aware that the festive season has arrived. Christmas lights and trees have been placed in prominent CBD areas, large billboards emphasising gift ideas.
Christmas carols and of course the infamous Michael Buble Christmas album has been booming nonstop in the shopping centres. All this Christmas talk made me question what the purpose of the Christmas season is really about. Why do we give?
I remember a time when I was giving just to receive. This brought about an emotion I struggled with. Many a time out of my heart, I would go out of my way to help someone, “little things” such as saying bless you when somebody sneezed or more involving like, spending my lunch break helping a classmate with a research project.
What surprised me was how shocked or quick I was to get angry when they didn’t say thank you or had a lack of appreciation of the efforts that I made for them. Then one day, my mother asked “Why are you giving your time and effort if you are going to complain? is it for you or for them?”
This made me step back and asses myself for a moment. Why was I so quick to get upset ? What was it that made me take the worst out of the moment over something so small? I realised that my intentions were not coming from a genuine place.
Once I realised this I began to focus on the real reason why i should give, which was to assist the other person with fulfilling their need rather than getting something back. Today i understand the concept of giving, it makes me happy.
The more I gave simply because I liked the feeling it gave me the MORE I received. This became a repetitive cycle. One that I now enjoy.
So have a think about it. Why are you giving this festive season?