“You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.” -Amy Carmichael
Take a moment to think about the times that you’ve allowed yourself to give freely. By this I mean without any form of attachment or expectation. It feels good right? Warm fuzzies and all. It feels good because we’re putting a smile on someone else’s face but according to a study at Emory University, “When you are kind to another person, your brain's pleasure and reward centers light up, as if you were the recipient of the good deed—not the giver.” Isn’t that amazing? One good deed leads to another and before you know it we’re all part of a pay-it-forward circle of goodness. Here is a list of 5 ways to engage yourself in giving, courtesy of David Linn.
- Random Acts of Kindness. This is giving at its best. This is giving “just because.” Let someone cut you in line. Leave a bigger tip. Spring for the check unexpectingly. Pay for the coffee of the stranger behind you without them knowing. You will brighten someone else’s day, and your own.
- Be a Mentor. Giving of our time and talents can be invaluable. That can be done by joining an official mentoring program, taking someone under your wing or just making a few calls to get someone started in your field.
- Show Up. Your presence is a gift (I know, it sounds corny, but it’s true). When you make plans, show up, on time. Show up at someplace you might not be expected but will be appreciated. Presence doesn’t always need to be a person. Sometimes, a phone call can make all the difference.
- Choose Charities Thoughtfully. When giving time and resources to charities, take the opportunity to investigate the charity to ensure that they are doing what you expect them to do and plan how you can best support them.
- Think charitable thoughts. Think about how you can give to others. Keep others in mind. Pray for others.