“The habit of giving only enhances the desire to give.”
— Walt Whitman
Forgetting is not usually something I’m happy with, but tonight it was.
Nearing seven o’clock, I wanted to give some time. So I asked my son if he needed help with anything. He said no, but my wife Melissa overheard us. She piped up, “Don’t you remember? You gave the girls a gingerbread house kit.”
I had, not more than ten minutes earlier. When I was at the store the other day, I walked by that gingerbread house kit and thought that the girls might like to build it before Christmas. I bought it with the intention that I would give it to them after school let out for winter break.
Waiting until tonight, I finally gave it to them and they were overjoyed. The act was so natural that it didn’t seem like a gift. It was so natural that I immediately forgot about it other than the smiles on my girls’ faces.
Melissa suggested that, perhaps, something is being built, something powerful. The habit of giving.
Habits are like foundations. Build a solid foundation and your house will be solid. Build solid habits and your life will be solid. Build a foundation of giving and we build so much more – an appreciation for the gifts we have, an empathy for others, courage to face challenges, desire to go beyond and a deep, rich joy inside.
As Sasha Dichter wrote recently,
“Generosity is nothing more and nothing less than the foundation upon which we build. We won’t solve the big problems of the world just by opening our hearts. That is a dangerous dream, because the stakes are much too high. Yet without generosity too many doors are closed, too much judgment creeps in. Without generosity empathy is not given a space in which to grow and we experience the terrible misfortune of undervaluing the gifts we have been given. In so doing we run the risk of forgetting that each of us has something important to offer in creating solutions big and small.”
The habit of giving is a foundation for much, much more.
Gave a gingerbread house built on a foundation of giving.