THE BLOG
11/24/2015 05:47 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

What's in Your Heart When You Give... Me, Me, Me or You?

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Have you ever been struck by how someone is kind to another person?

Suddenly taken by the helpful, generous and considerate words or actions of one person to another?

It's a wonder to experience. Often a miracle and gratitude rushes through you.

Lately I've been watching how people give.

I saw people hold doors for others, offer to carry a heavy package, let a shopper move ahead in the grocery check-out line because they only had a couple of items to buy, watched a carpenter refuse money for his work because he simply wanted to help and read about a barber in New York City who gives homeless people free haircuts on Sunday.

In the opposite direction I heard people complain about the cost of sharing a bottle of wine because they didn't drink as many glasses as their dinner guest, watched a business man bully and insult a client because they would accept his fee and listened to people talk only about themselves, never asking how the other person was.

It made me think:

  • Do you give because you expect to get something back?
  • Are you customer serving or self-serving?
  • Do you believe that kindness and giving pays or not?
  • Are you a taker or a giver?

Albert Schweitzer answered it this way --

The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others.

What are your two choices for giving?

1. What's in it for me if? Because, if it doesn't benefit me in some way I'm not interested.

2. How can I help and be of service to you?

The first is ego driven and the second arises from the depths of your large and giving heart.

You always have a choice between the two.

You are your thoughts and actions and how you act, "... how you show compassion and ... help others." will define your life.

If you're greedy and take as much as you can you'll attract selfishness and become a cold, uncaring person that people neither like nor trust. We all know people like that AND... we also know people who give and give and are loved and admired by many for their benevolence.

• Either you care or you're cold.
• Either you help or you harm.
• Either you have a good effect or a bad effect.

When giving is heartfelt it's always kind and caring. A moment of charity and understanding to another person, one specific humane thought or action, goes miles beyond the smallness of -- 'What's in it for ME?'

What are acts of love?

Kindness and giving are life enhancing qualities. They powerfully promote every aspect of your life; your relationships, business, reputation and the stories people tell about you.

When you actually engage someone with an honest, warm gesture of thoughtfulness, even if it's a friendly smile or the detailed negotiating of a contract, you're performing an act of kindness -- an act of love -- and when it's genuine the person who receives it will always feel respected and trust you.

Acts of love are the same as acts of kindness. They're positive acts that make a positive difference for someone else and also for the world.

Even when you meet a stranger, they know if they matter to you and if you have good will; showing regard and sincere interest.

The act of giving can be both a conscious and unconscious intention or purpose to make someone else feel strong and happy, even loved. You hope to leave someone better off through how you are. Sometimes it's spontaneous; happens naturally and you don't even think about it, you just give and help in some way.

One of the reasons I love my work as a Life and Career Coach is because I'm able to help another human being to live the best life they possibly can. I get to give deep thought and careful listening to someone else's feelings and questions and assist them to find answers that will enable them to be happy and successful in the way they dream about. It's profoundly gratifying to see people grow and change. It's an honor to work to know someone and to gain their trust; to hope to be at ease in the depths of another person and to leave their life better off.

When you seriously think about being of service to people you stop your own selfishness.

It's as basic and easy as having a loving thought, offering kindness, giving, trying to help even by asking -- "How are you?" -- and, really wanting to know the answer.

Here is one of my most favorite quotes from the Persian poet Hafiz. I share it with you because I believe the image it creates expresses clearly what I'm saying about the ability to give and love that we all have.

Even after all this time the sun never says to the earth, "you owe me."
Look what happens with a love like that. It lights the whole sky.

Keep giving and being kind and doing good and watch what happens to others, yourself and the world.