“You cannot hold on to anything good.
You must be continually giving–and getting.
You cannot hold on to your seed.
You must sow it–and reap anew.
You cannot hold on to riches.
You must use them and get other riches in return.”
— Robert Collier
“For true love is inexhaustible: the more you give, the more you have.
And if you go to draw at the true fountainhead,
the more water you draw, the more abundant is its flow.”
— Antoine De Saint-Exupery
The Bible says, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” — Acts 20:35 and “Give, and it shall be given unto you: good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over. . .” — Luke 6:38. Most of us have heard these two, particularly the quote from Acts. But what does it mean? Give what? How? To whom? For what purpose? Each of us gets a shot at answering those questions ourselves.
Much of giving I hear is of giving money to charity, or church, or needy people, or the Red Cross, or whatever-the-current-crisis-is, etc. That is important and valuable–and easy. The more money you have, the more you have potential to give to help even more. I’m all for financial giving.
You can give your time, your energy, your blood, your sweat. There are an infinite number of projects that are always in need of people to volunteer.
Or, you could teach.
Teaching is the most powerful and long-reaching method of giving that I can think of. As the old saying goes, “give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach him to fish, and he eats for a lifetime.” The fundamental issue in all need is what will happen when you stop giving the money, time, energy, sweat? So many times, things revert to what they were. As Michael Todd said so well, “being broke is a temporary situation, being poor is a mental state.” The only thing that will create long-term growth and improvement will be those concepts, ideas, procedures, that are learned through teaching.
Whatever you know well, I highly recommend that you find a way to share it with others. You never know who you will touch or how powerful that little touch may turn out to be down the road. Teaching is without a doubt the most powerful and rewarding thing that I do. And, I try to do it every day in some way. Obviously, this is one way by writing these pieces, but I do it in many other ways as well.
Here’s a formula that works for me and I highly recommend:
1. Get inspired. Read and listen and watch inspiring things every day. There’s a lot of UN-inspiring things all around you all day. Most of it is in the papers and on the TV and coworkers and friends have a tendency to spread it. Without daily inspirations, you will only hear that other stuff.
2. Study and Use What You Study. Hearing something, reading something or even watching something once is not nearly so helpful to your learning as some repetition. One way that is effective for me to study is hearing it over and over again until I almost have it memorized. Each time I hear it, I hear something I missed the other times. Then, put it to use. Feel it. Try it out. Mess with it. Take it for a spin around town. Use it in your life.
3. Share it. Teach it. C.S. Lewis said it this way: “Nothing that you have not given away will ever be really yours.” Sheldon Kopp said, “you only get to keep what you give away.” If you look at that on the surface it doesn’t make any sense, then it does. For me, it is in teaching all of this that I keep it–that it means so much more to me and that allows and even encourages me to share it wider and more confidently. You just never know who you will touch and encourage and inspire. It is the absolute best!
4. Celebrate and Bless. I have to add this fourth point because it will be most helpful. Celebrate those who receive your teaching and respond by learning. Celebrate those who grow by doing as a result of the teaching and their learning. A few will tell you, most will not. It’s okay. Bless those who don’t receive your teaching or respond by learning. They are happy where they are. That is okay. Bless them and keep moving.
Here’s to the inspired teacher in all of us!
By Teaching, I Become A Stronger, Better Student!
Spread Some Joy Today–Get inspired. Feel it. Share it. Celebrate. Joy is that easy! [Of course, that is only one way to joy. . . the reality is that all you have to do, is decide to be joyful, then act joyfully. That is the shortcut. . .]