Life Lessons Series: Giving is Better than Taking

One way to expand your child’s world is to find ways to be giving. Volunteer.  It’s likely you’ll sleep easier at night by trying to improve someone else’s life or leaving the world a better place.

Even though you’re not getting paid, and may not personally benefit, helping others is worth your time.  Need to read more about the benefits?  Click here.

Life lesson: ‘We share because we like when others feel happy’ – that’s what I tell my son.  It’s so simple and so valid for many different situations.

I adopt this ‘posture’ in my life, and challenge you to do the same.  For example, at night I like to say a prayer with my hands open.  It’s symbolic because my hands are open to ‘receiving’, rather than closed because I’m holding onto something.  My heart is this way too.  I have an open heart so I can be giving to others.  I’d rather be able to say ‘yes’ in life, wouldn’t you?

Do you ball your hands up, hanging onto things or ideas too tightly?  What would become possible if you loosen your grip?  What possibilities are you blocking out by not saying ‘yes’?

What are some good ways to share?  You can share your resources, your toys, or your money; your time’ your thoughts, knowledge or expertise; or your connections or network.

I’ve seen some great examples of people sharing. Good friends of my family started an annual pub crawl to raise money for the Humane Society. Close friends have an annual Halloween party to raise money for UNICEF.  I love sending support to pastors and missionaries, children with needs or even just helping friends.

Be flexible – The way you can help others may change over time.  In my grade school years I used to visit nursing homes.  Then as a young teen I volunteered at my veterinarian’s office.  Later I helped out at the Humane Society.  I taught toddlers at our church.  I was a youth counselor at three different churches and then ran a young adult small group, and started a prayer group.  It’s nice to set a good example for your children in areas you can, and these areas will probably change over time.  A great friend of mine told me one of the greatest lessons she’s learned as a mom is to be flexible.  We can be flexible in our life, and still find ways to be giving.

Here are some other ways you can help others:

– Habitat for Humanity
– Big Brothers Big Sisters
– go plant some trees
– clean up a local park or walking trail
– pick up trash along a road or the highway
– listen to a friend
– baby-sit for a friend, or mop the floor in his or her home
– run a meal to someone who is sick

What ways have you found to be giving this year?

Love, Robyn Cooper

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