I’ve been thinking a lot this summer about giving, giving time, energy, etc. even when there is no return. I sort of naturally do this, but I’ve been more conscious of it lately. Because sometimes, someone asks for help or I see something I know I could help with, and I think, “Man, I don’t have time for that.” But now, especially if something takes 5 minutes to respond to, I just do. I’ll connect someone with someone else, send a resource, or answer a question. I’m trying to just do this, rather than skip that message and move on.
I read a whole book on the topic this summer, and I found it insightful and it confirmed some of my own feelings about what I get out of giving my time and energy for seemingly no return. I enjoy connecting with people. I enjoy helping people and seeing them light up when my help is truly beneficial. I enjoy knowing I’m contributing to something larger than myself, that may help lots of people. It just generally makes me happy.
I need to work on other aspects of giving. I do well in my field, but not so well sometimes with friends and family. In part, that’s because they often don’t ask for things. I’d like to be the person who puts a note in a colleague’s box or who offers to dog sit/baby sit or who remembers birthdays and anniversaries. And then there’s my family. Well, let’s just say that I could be better about giving to my family.