How good does it feel when someone says 'you just made my day'?!
What about when you make someone smile? Share something meaningful with those you care about? Make someone grateful for human kindness?
I think all too often we get caught up in what we need, what we desire, and what will make our lives personally richer. With that self-focus we can lose sight of the fact that we could receive just as much satisfaction or feel even more fulfilled by doing things for others instead of ourselves.
In the same light, sharing something we have or find precious can be just as cathartic. I often find myself holding on too tight to possessions . . . when I could find untold joy in sharing them with others.
Just last week in Kenya, I watched Phillip, one of our sweet boys from the orphanage, treasure his new and very rare gift of a matchbox car. Now as with most gifts we receive, Phillip had a choice to a. covet the item out of fear that it could be taken (not a rare experience for him) b. stow it away with the satisfaction that it is his alone or c. share the item with the people around him, in turn sharing his enjoyment.
I was in absolute awe as I witnessed this young boy who grew up on the streets not only share his car with kids from the community, kids who could have easily taken it and ran off, but he went so far as to teach these children how to share it amongst themselves. I’ve never felt so proud or inspired as I did watching him pass the car from one child to the next, gently encouraging them to share and pass it on, not hold onto it for themselves. And on top of watching an amazing act of love and maturity come from this precious 7-year old boy, we saw a handful of other Kenyan children experiencing the same happiness Phillip got from his gift.
What a valuable lesson we can learn from Phillip. He (whether knowingly or not) realized that he would receive more joy from his coveted car toy by sharing it and the fun it brings with others than he would if he’d played with it by himself.
We all have the opportunity to share with those around us - whether a literal toy, gift, or special item we would normally keep to ourselves - or a compliment, kind gesture or helping hand ... we can always choose to act selflessly for the good of those around us.
The surprising bit is that when we act this way, we often feel more fulfilled or show ourself more love than if we would have stayed alone or kept something special to ourselves.
So friends, give yourself the gift of sharing your love and prized possessions with others . . . and feel the enjoyment as you do.
Love & Joy,