What's this old dump truck have to do with this latest blog post? My last blog post was about slowing down in life and taking time to enjoy the little things. I think that is a very healthy and even fun thing to do for your life. This post is also about having fun. It’s also about giving. Stay with me on this because it’s very important. Let tell you a little story first.
My father was a bit older when I was born, he was 51 years old. His health was deteriorating when he was about 60, so he took an earlier retirement and was able to go on disability. I found out later that one of the main reasons he quit was to be able to spend more time with me. I was about 10 years old at the time. I am so thankful he did that. He knew that quitting his job meant sacrificing things and pinching some pennies but he was willing to do it.
One day an acquaintance approached my father. This man had numerous problems and mental issues and always seemed to be struggling to make ends meet. He needed cash for new tires for his dump truck. It was a piece of junk too. Old and rundown. My father gave him the money for tires.
"Dad, that guy has got problems, why did you give him money?'' I asked, knowing things were tight for us.
“He needs it,” my father said. “When someone asks for help, it’s not for us to judge. That’s for someone else. We should help as many people as we can, as often as we can.”
I didn’t fully understand it at the time – we really did need that money! But I get it now. My dad understood something very deep.
Giving is like having fun, in that it’s an inelastic part of living well and feeling good about yourself.
You can’t wait until you have “enough” money (or other things) to start giving to others.
In fact, when you’re feeling strapped might be the most important time to remember why giving is good for you.
There are lots of good reasons to give. Love is giving. God is a giver. Aside from often being “the right thing to do,” giving is healthy for us, it makes us feel good about ourselves, which helps us become our best selves. Giving is like eating and sleeping. It’s not something we should do when we can. It’s something we must do.
Think about everything you receive from others in one day. That might give you an idea of how necessary giving is in one form or another. Now think about what you can give back. Granted, it might not be “much,” but you have something you can give.
Whether it’s your time, or your ear, or food, or money, or whatever, give something to somebody in need when you’re done reading this post. It may not be tires for an old dump truck but there will always be opportunities. Make giving a consistent part of your lifestyle, and have fun doing it!