I’ve often felt frowned upon for my resistance to “contribution”. Listening to Jessica tell her own story of how she gave to earn the right to go on with her day, my listening sharpened, here was someone who truly understood what I have not been able to voice. As a child, I would dream of moving to Africa to help and teach and give. I plotted it in high school when there was talk of a program being launched via our associated religious parish. I would spend time in soup kitchens, and participated in a variety of charity endeavors. I wrote about world peace and pleaded for the safety of the homeless. Over time, I came to feel exactly what Jessica described. This inability to help. This guilt for “making it”. I removed myself more and more from those types of environments to avoid the feeling. The truth about humans is that we strong and capable and resourceful. In the midst of so much chaos, there are millions of stories or survival and success and beating the odds. And so I find myself giving now, in small, almost unrecognizable ways, that for some aren’t even worth repeating but they make me feel good. Food for someone who just lost a parent, an afternoon helping a friend pack, ongoing presence for someone in grieving. And, with the completion of my first coaching certification, I found a way to give to others in a way that would empower them and allow me to feel useful. I gave away what I learned by spending time with hours helping them discover the resources within them. The frowns continued when I passed up an opportunity to donate funds to some organization or another. I want to feel connected to what and who I give to. And the truth is, I’d rather spend an hour of my time teaching someone something that they can re-use to better their own lives and relationships, the feeling of giving and hope and pride in humans is multiplied when I give that way. I want to feel empowerment in giving, pride, hopefulness, even excitement in my giving, not relief from guilt. I want that feeling of expansion, either mine or yours to come from my giving, not a feeling of hopelessness, or worse, just to check off my list so I could say I did my “duties”. If I give just so you won’t frown upon me, that makes me a fake. How is that making me sleep better at night? How is that saving the world? What I give to this world doesn’t normally reflect the package expected by society, but I give it whole heartedly. I give it in the hope, in the knowing, that the exchange of knowledge and empowering resources is definitely impactful and opens doors for myself and others. It creates a ripple affect as I see the lives I’ve touched in my giving, change and actually changing other people’s lives.
But Jessica has given me (and you) a way to give back in a powerful exchange between humans. One that sais, you are strong and capable, and I see it, and honor it. I believe in you. Right along the lines of the beliefs I hold for each and every one of us in this world.
Very grateful, and excited for my first loan. Enjoy!