“We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.” ~ Winston Churchhill
I thought about all the things I do in one day’s time. Including everything from brushing my teeth to laundry to cooking to my part-time job to breaking up fights between the boys. Then, I separated each activity into one of two lists: Getting or Giving. (Honestly, I added a third list for stuff like personal hygiene that didn’t seem to fit either category.)
In the one column, I got money for my work. I got groceries and school supplies from the store. The mailman brought a book that in turn offered wisdom and knowledge. I got a scribbled picture from my kindergartener.
In the other column, I found that putting laundry and cooking in the giving category helped my attitude about the chores. I found that breaking up fights was actually giving the boys strategies to problem solve. I found that reading a book with my kids was a gift of time.
Overall, the exercise showed that getting and giving balanced out in my life. No out of control priorities to work on. Whew.
The exercise also highlighted the relative value of gifts. Like Winston Churchhill said in the opening quote, there’s a big difference between making a living and making a life. Those intangibles are invaluable. And kindergarten art ranks at the top.
When we think of giving, we usually picture money or a pile of presents. But, we can also give our time, energy, love, friendship, and wisdom. The opportunities to give are limitless, and the return on our investment is priceless.
And in this journey called life, it’s nice to know that we can make a difference in the lives of other travelers by giving of ourselves.
What about you? How has giving enriched your life?