It IS More Blessed

We were able to facilitate a nice surprise for our friends this weekend – not a material gift, but the unexpected gift of time with someone they loved.  Yesterday afternoon I was positively giddy with excitement about it, so happy that things had turned out just as I planned, that this couple whom we’ve come to care about so much would have this opportunity.

“When you get older,” Jim said, “you realize it’s more fun to be the giver.”

He’s quite right.  Making someone else happy lifted my spirits, gave me a huge sense of accomplishment, and brightened my outlook on life in general.  It blessed me, in the best possible way.

Of course, I’m one of the world’s biggest people pleasers.  Practically everything I do is designed to win the approval of someone or other.  It’s a trait that gets me into trouble sometimes – okay, oftentimes.   But usually my people-pleasing involves me doing something I don’t really want to do – like taking on extra work assignments, or joining groups, or going to restaurants I really don’t like.  It’s not often that I get to create my own scenario and do something purely and positively altruistic for someone else. I’m beginning to think I should look for more opportunities to do just that.  It was a huge endorphin booster, almost like a good workout on the treadmill and a lot more fun.

I’ve been on the receiving end of quite a bit of kindness and not just from family members.  One of the most touching experiences for me was having four of our oldest friends drive up from Ohio to attend my father in law’s funeral.  For one couple, this meant putting their wedding anniversary plans on hold.  For the other, it meant giving up a family gathering.  But they set those things aside to share that time of sadness with us, and, because neither Jim nor I have brothers and sisters, our friends presence provided us with a special kind of support and strength.  That simple act made a huge impression on me, one I will never forget.

I wonder if part of the reason yesterday felt so good was not only because I was able to make some people happy, but also because it allowed me to make an impact like that on someones life.  I don’t get many opportunities to leave a lasting impression.  I spend a lot of time around people who do – educators and musicians and writers.  People who change lives, who leave tangible and important evidence of their life on earth.  I admit I’d like a piece of that, of feeling as if something I did made a difference for another person, made their life better for a moment in a way they might remember for a lifetime.

Whether or not that happened this weekend is not up to me to know.  I do  know that I was really blessed by the giving, and received more than I expected.

How about you?  How have you been blessed by giving? or in receiving?

12 thoughts on “It IS More Blessed

  1. I still remember the pure joy of pulling off a surprise 50th birthday party for a friend who NEVER had experienced a birthday party. His grandfather had died on his birthday when he was very young, and the family always mourned the death from that point on, rather than celebrating his birth.

    I managed to keep it from him, even with about 40 people involved. It was wonderful. I think the truth is those occasions are “lagniappe” – the little extras, the little grace notes in life that make it worth living.

    • That was a great gift to give your friend, and one I’m sure he never forgot. What a shame that his family would overlook the opportunity to celebrate his life rather than remaining stuck in mourning a death. And how nice for you to be able to dispel that rather awful tradition 🙂

  2. For me, it is more blessed to read your blessing post like this…
    You just touch my heart and make me wanna be a better giver like you said in kindness ways, not material ways. You are such an inspiration!

  3. So true. This kind of giving is a gift to the giver. The spillover of joy always bathes the giver. They say that when you’re feeling blue, the cure is to do something for others.

  4. Dear B, You have me thinking about the “giving.” Normally, I might say that I do “give” but it’s not the right stuff…it’s not the helping, creative kind, I think. I give a lot at my job; I give a lot to hte house (you know, cleaning, this and that) and I’d like to think I give a lot of time to my family. But that’s not enough.
    I gotta work on this. I need to up the ante on it. I did recently start writing notes and cards to family and friends. But there’s so much more…and I love how you found it got your endorphins going, with that uplifting feeling, which also means it will engender more of that same type activity.

    But I like the sound of what you did and need to incorporate that more. I feel like we all get into a “work-schedule-routine” glaze or haze.
    Thanks for sparking what really matters. The wonders of life are rarely part of a to-do list.


    • There are all kinds of giving in the world. I like to think I “give” a lot in a general way – of time, and money. But once in a while it’s great fun to make the “grand gesture” like this was 🙂

  5. Wonderful, wonderful post. I know when I make people happy, it makes me smile all over. And I know I’ve been made happy, too. And I love it! And them!

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