This Lent, why not GIVE in place of “giving up?”

As many Christians are at the beginning of the Lenten Season… we have been urged to “give up” something… or fast in reverence to this holy time of year.  It seems almost mundane and often done without thought.  Imagine just the opposite, if during the next five weeks, leading up to Easter Sunday…  we GIVE something of ourselves, rather than “give up.” That would honor God in so many ways.

Giving of myself in any fashion makes me feel good and the recipient(s) benefit too. It is a win:win situation for all. I’m not a saint, I do know that, but rather I see it more like a healing technique that I’ve learned over the years to help myself heal from my own hurtful past. Then, it just became a really good habit that I’ve continued for many years.  We don’t often look at it that way.   You know…”giving” as medicine, but it really is.  It came to me yesterday, that this might be an excellent Lenten practice, no matter what your religion, that might just become a wonderful “habit” after the season of abstaining/ fasting has ended.

      Instead of “doing without” something for this Lent… why not “give” something of yourself, talents, or just do something to make someone else’s day/life a bit better!  Good idea, right?

I know many give in church or to a special organization in financial ways. That is truely wonderful. BUT, what I’m proposing is that we can also give in small ways each and every day and they are not always financial gifts.  Sometimes, what I give is “time.” Sometimes, it’s my “help.” Sometimes it actually is financial help…but most often to a total stranger. In today’s society, everyone welcomes that kind of gift and it is usually much needed. And, as anyone who knows me well, will tell you…I always give my advice. (I let out a loud roar as I wrote that because it is so true!)  But my favorite gifts are gifts that noone knows about… but me… the “giver.”

Sometimes, it’s as simple as pulling someone’s garbage can back up their driveway or picking up the mis-thrown newspaper and putting it by your neighbor’s door. Perhaps, grab a garbage bag and collect trash in a much used area of your neighborhood. Or, take not only your own shopping cart back to the store, but a few others too or maybe pick up that garment or product that’s on the store’s floor, that keeps getting either stepped on… or over by everyone. When we make a point of complimenting someone on a job well done in either their efficiency or thoroughness, they feel good. Better yet, if you see something or someone that strikes you as particularly wonderful or special… say something.  The tone of the entire day will be one of positivity for not only that recipient, but to all they encounter.  It’s the best of passing it forward.

These are random acts of kindness. We do them not for the “thanks” that normally follows each of us doing something nice; we do them because they make the world a better place for others. However, what I guarantee is that IF you choose to be a giver, it will be you who is receiving the greatest gift.  I give you my word.

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