Leaving a late night grocery run last night, a man was standing outside the door. A little dirty, a little scruffy, big blue brilliant eyes. “Excuse me ma’am, might you spare seventy five cents? I am trying to get something to eat.” I scrummaged around in my pocket for what change I had. He was very grateful, with the familiar “God bless you” response, and I was happy to help. We had a brief conversation about the weather, and I wished him luck on his journey. As I left, I couldn’t help but wish I could do more. I was (as always) in a hurry, but looking at him, I felt the need to pause, take a minute, and connect with this human being, my fellow traveler on this path of life. In the past, I would have shuffled away, mumbling “not today”, and carried on, feeling only a slight pang of guilt that would quickly vanish.
Driving home, this encounter got me to thinking about giving. I mean, tis the season and all, but what does it mean to have a spirit of giving, and what does that look like in day to day life? Is it giving money to a favorite charity? Is it donating time to a cause? Is it being open to giving spare change to those who may need it more than I do?
My idea of what giving means has certainly evolved a lot over the past few years. Getting involved with Creatively Caring has allowed me to find my passion of combining my need to teach my children about service, and my personal fulfilment in giving something back to our local communities.
I think for me, the spirit of giving can take on so many forms. What I remembered last night with the man whose name I will never know, was that the gift of communication was just as important as the change that passed from my hand to his. We have so many opportunities to give, not only to those less fortunate than ourselves, but to our families and friends as well. The connections we make with the people in our lives, whether fleeting or not, are what create the community that we are all looking for. Creating that community takes work, but having a sense of community and where we fit in is crucial to giving, in whatever form it manifests in you. Nourish and strenghten your community, your family, and the spirit of giving is a natural evolution from there.
~with love and respect, Jen
From all of us at Creatively Caring, we wish you and your family the happiest of holidays!