Life in the twenty-first century is extremely demanding. There never seems to be enough time to do all the things that need to be done; keeping up with work and studies, spending more time with family and friends; not to mention earning enough money for all the necessities.
With so many challenges to cope with, you may say to yourself: “I’m already scrambling to deal with all the demands and pressures on me. How will I find the time and resources to give more?”
I believe no matter what our circumstances may be, we all have the ability to give. When you think about it, we have all received much from others –teachers, relatives, even strangers.
The peace that we all enjoy today has been delivered by the sacrifice of others.
The paradox is that when you give expecting a reward, you won’t receive one. When you give with joy, selflessness, and love, you benefit greatly.
The attitude you bring to your giving will reflect the benefits you gain. If you give money, time or anything else with an expectation of a return on your investment, you defeat the purpose of giving.
The Trappist monk Thomas Merton once wrote: “Souls are like athletes who need opponents worthy of them if they are to be tried and extended and pushed to the full use of their powers.”
That’s an insightful analogy, for just as your muscles weaken without physical exercise, so does your soul weaken without its special kinds of exercise. A great exercise for your soul is the practice of giving.
“You must give some time to your fellow men. Even if it’s a little thing, do something for others – something for which you get no pay but the privilege of doing it.”