Miriam Webster tells us that the word gift, noun means a notable capacity, talent, or endowment; something voluntarily transferred by one person or another without compensation; the act, right, or power of giving.
As a verb it means to endow with some power, quality, or attribute; to make a gift of.
I was curious this morning and just took a moment to actually look that up. A word that we often take for granted- but honestly really shouldn’t- should we? Think about how many times a day we use that word without really thinking about the power behind it. MW even uses the word ‘power’ in the definition.
I have made a habit each morning in my journal writing to actually write down three ways I can give this day. I have found myself never writing down actual ‘things’ to give; flowers, items, etc. but list things like ‘phone Jerry, phone Vicki, make sure to listen for the postman and thank him’. I often wonder where that habit or that thought practice came and I reflect on my mother and father and the simple little things I used to see them do for others; help out an elderly neighbor by taking out their trash to the curb, making a cake for the teachers birthday and taking it to class with me or my sisters. My father used to strike up conversations with perfect strangers and in no time they were both smiling finding something in common immediately. I find it so heartwarming to know that those habits of ‘giving’ of oneself came from my parents. And I think they never actually ‘taught’ me that out loud….it was just the actions. How powerful.
Fast forward 2020- can we take a moment and reflect on the actions we put forth each day that we are teaching our children? Can you possibly list three things that you can give to others and that your child can witness? Can you imagine something as simple as waiting in line to get your coffee and your child is standing right next to you and instead of having your phone out and in your hand reading mindless social media- you not only thank your barista, but compliment them on something they are wearing, ask about how they are doing, note the lovely sunny day- or the rain for that matter? Imagine the power of the smile that goes across their face, the shared conversation, the human connection . Your child sees that, hears it and therein lies the gift…the compliment, the witness, the sharing, the connection- what ‘POWER’! So simple.
I would challenge all of us to reflect on the simple little gifts we can share simply by being aware. Start with three things a day- then three things an hour- what’s amazing is that by giving you not only are teaching your child you realize that you are in turn receiving so much in return. “Turn, turn- we come round right” as the song goes.