Character Creates Opportunity® – Giving & Receiving Part I: Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The holiday season brings about some great opportunities to build and strength our character;  With overcrowded shopping malls, homes packed with friends and family that may stay a bit too long, and the work project that keeps nagging at us during our “time off.”  I am sure writing about “patience” may be relevant, but might also turn readers off during this “merry” season.   So with that assumption, I would like to address the aspects of something just as relevant during the holiday season, Giving and Receiving.  Part I of this message will cover Giving and Part II will be about Receiving.

In our early developmental years, our culture creates an unbalanced perception about how great it is to receive gifts.  Advertisements tempt us with how happy we will be with the next gadget, some new clothes, and that dream vacation.  As young children, many of us made a Christmas wish list, had the chance to tell Santa in the mall what we wanted, and were thoroughly prepared when loving grandparents asked, “What do you want for Christmas?”    

Through personal experience, many of us have grown in our understanding of giving and realize that it is truly better to give than to receive.  To see the excitement in a child’s eye or the loving embrace of a family member who received a most needed gift demonstrates to all of us how wonderful it is to give.  Beyond just gifts during the holidays, the opportunity to give our time, effort, and money to a worthy cause fills us we a great sense of personal warmth and fulfillment.   By giving to others and to causes we believe in, we fill a very deep emotional need we all have to belong to something beyond ourselves.  The mere act of giving builds a strong emotional bond between us and the recipient or the cause.

Moving from the home front to the workplace, the same reality exists.  In giving assistance to others delivering on a key project, to give recognition to co-workers, and to provide support to a customer that goes beyond some contractual obligation has the same positive personal return that giving does in our personal life.

As we work to build and strengthen our character, I want to encourage all of us to look for opportunities to give, and then “do the right thing” and take action.  In addition, we should start as early as we can with children and young adults to consistently show them the value of giving instead of receiving.  The earlier we all learn the timeless truth that it is better to give than to receive, the greater impact we can have as we journey through life. 

Becoming more proactive in giving, in all areas of our lives, is an important aspect of building and strengthening character and our Character Creates Opportunity® to build strong relationships, grow a business, and sustain a high-level of accomplishment.

What ways have you found helpful to reinforce that it is better to give than receive? Please share a comment below.