Sunday, February 06, 2011

A Season for Nonviolence Reflections - Week 2

"We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do." - Mother Teresa

So many times we focus on what we don't have or what we want. This week I hope to challenge you to focus on what you can give.

When the topic of giving comes up many times our mind goes to money. This is not the only way to give to others. It is beneficial, I believe, to also consider and explore the various ways that we can give and contribute to life.

Story of Giving
But first I would like to share a story that I think demonstrates giving coming from an intrinsic motivation. The story begins with a british soldier stationed in Romania in World War II who saw a young orphan boy on the street. The boy, standing outside a donut store with his nose stuck to the glass window, was looking into the store. His eyes were opened very wide as he looked inside. He was looking at the various delicious donuts people were buying.

The soldier went inside the store and purchased a a bag of a dozen donuts and a cup of coffee. When he came out he gave the boy the bag of donuts. The boy was so excited that he was frozen in his tracks and speechless.

The soldier started walking away. After a moment the boy started to run after the soldier. When he caught up to him he pulled on his long coat. The soldier turned around and looked down at the boy. The boy looked up at the tall soldier and said, "Are you God?"

The little boy had been told that God would provide for his needs. This soldier gave him food and he thought he must be God. Can you imagine how the soldier must have felt to be able to help this young boy?

We Were Created To Give
We all enjoy giving. It is a human need to contribute to others. We were created to do this. We can give to others by offering a smile. It is amazing how a smile can make a radical difference in someone's life. I have had times where I have smiled at someone and because of that welcoming smile they are more comfortable talking to me.

Other ways to give to others can include talking to someone who is alone in a crowded room, helping someone jump their car battery, walking with someone to the store and helping them with their groceries, and cooking a meal for someone who is ill or just had a baby. There are hundreds of other things we can do as well. Of course, we can also get involved with organizations like churches and nonprofits to volunteer our time as well.

This week take some time to consider how you can contribute to someone or some group. Once you come up with a couple ideas be proactive and do them. May you be blessed as you give to others this week.

To read the weekly reflection for Week 1 click here.

PHOTO CAPTION: "Photo Courtesy of"

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