I don’t often do ‘words only posts’, as I think pictures convey so much. But I was talking with Mark today about a few things and I wanted to share.
We were talking about a ‘self improvment’ seminar he went to recently, and how the presenter said there are two kinds of people (this presenter immediately lost credibility to me as I think that is a very shallow view of humankind….but anyway) – those who you meet and ask how they are and they say ‘I’m well, and you?’, and those who respond with a litany of their life’s issues. The implication being that there is something somehow deficient in those who want to share more than an automated reponse to a standard question.
So I asked ‘why can we not be generous enough to listen to someone tell us about what is important to them?’ Why does it only have to be important to us to have some value? Surely if a person wants to tell you about their health problems, their relationship issues or how they love/hate their job – we can spare 5 minutes of our lives to listen?
Generosity is free. Grace and dignity is priceless.
My recent trip to Malaysia was with a dual purpose – work, and also to farewell a colleague who is retiring. He has a health issue which, he has been told, ‘nobody who has this condition lives more than four years from initial prognosis’. His last message to us, his colleagues, was ‘you are all special and unique – never forget that of yourselves and never forget that of others’.
I think it is an incredibly generous thing to say, and also a very generous way to live your life.
I think so many people do not give, because they are afraid that they will not ‘get something in return’. Yet they miss the point.
The gift, the return, is the giving. There is nothing more you need to do.