The AD Way: Give Back
When you’re a child, there’s nothing better than getting that first look at your presents on Christmas morning. When you’re a parent, there’s nothing better than seeing the joy in your children’s faces when they do. There is joy in giving to others.
This is true not only when it comes to our children, loved ones and friends. It’s true when it comes to total strangers. Sometimes more so! Strangers rarely complain about our gift choices.
I’ve always had a generous spirit. That’s just the way God made me. If my friends or family needed something, I’d help them out. Even back when I was living paycheck to paycheck. But I never gave a dime to strangers, charities or good causes. It just never dawned on me that I should. Until I became a person of faith.
I remember the first time I did community service. I spent a day putting together Thanksgiving meals for the poor in our area. I kicked in some money to help pay for the meals, too. It was incredibly fulfilling. But the next day was even better. Because when my family sat down for our Thanksgiving dinner, the holiday had somehow changed from one of over indulgence to one of giving and sharing. Giving is its own reward.
I encourage you to experience it often. The days my family and I serve together, along with the days we serve as a company, are my favorite days of the year.
You don’t need to have “plenty” to give to others. Everyone can give of their time and talents to help those who are less fortunate. The feeling you get by giving of yourself is very special indeed. And frankly, if you wait until you have everything you need or want, you may be waiting a long time. No matter how fancy your car or truck, there’s someone with a bigger and fancier one. No matter how rich you are, there’s some neighborhood you can live in that will make you feel poor.
People think it’s easier for affluent people to be generous than it for those who are less well off. But that’s not true. It’s equally hard for everyone who is hard hearted and it’s equally easy for everyone who is soft hearted. Trust me, I know. Because I’ve been both, and I’ve had both.
I spent a chunk of my life chasing after “stuff” that I didn’t really need and didn’t enjoy for very long when I got it. If that’s where you are now, I don’t begrudge you for it. But here’s what I found. None of it holds a candle to the satisfaction you get from helping others.
Giving enriches our lives.