Copyright 2006 Stan Lewis
A Poem: I PONDER GIVING
UPON SORROWFULL CREATURES MY THOUGHTS DWELL. I PONDER GIVING, LIKE UNTO PLACING GIFTS UPON PANTRY SHELVES. RECEIVING ALL, ABSENT OF MENTAL CONCEPTIONS, INANIMATE, FEELING NOTHING, DESIRING LESS. TOUCHING ONLY THAT OUTSIDE ITS POWER. DUST AND OTHER THINGS BORNE UPON THE AIR. CHARITY’S LIGHT QUICKLY DEVOURED, ERE ITS LUMIENCE FELT. STRADDLING POSSIBILITY AND APATHY, I PONDER GIVING.
Life experiences with others can be hurtful and we find it difficult to want to ever share again with anyone at all. As a Christian life and leadership coach, I have felt the same way. There is no executive, manager, leaders or team member that has not felt this way. However, each of us must move on past the hurt and learn from it. That is the purpose of this article is to help those who have be hurt to move on and be successful.
I remember working with a guy that had lost his home in a fire. He had no place else to go, and I took him into my home until he could find a place to live. We both worked for a major Department Store. I was a night manager and had closed up the store after everyone had left for the day. Right after setting the alarm and locking up, this guy sneaked back into the store. My new room mate went on a five finger discount spending spree. He stole everything he could get his hands on, reset the alarm, and left the store. He thought he had the same alarm code as me. And since I had locked the store and set the alarm that the authorities would look to me as the one who had burglarized the department store. What he did not know is that as a manager, my code was different from his and he was arrested for the crime.
I was hurt and felt used because I took pity on this guy homelessness. He had attempted to have me arrested for a crime I did not commit. I wondered what it was that I had done to him to make him want to do this to me. I did not want to trust anyone again. I know that many of you have been hurt in your lives by others in many different ways. But, I had to understand that not everyone in this world is out to harm me. I could have really allowed him to put me in a prison, if I had locked my self away from others. He would have won.
Today, I am happily married with two wonderful kids. I freely give my time to mentor boys and young men on how to become leaders in a Christian camping program called Royal Rangers. I also work with children in local schools and teach them leadership. I have excellent friendships with several people whom I cherish and respect. I have so much now, but I, like many of you, was at a turning point. I could give into the pain and hurt or move past it. I choose freedom. You should too.
Do not allow yourself to ponder giving to others, because of past hurts. I have opened my eyes to see both sides of giving. Because of this, I clearly see that I get back more than I can ever give to my wife, kids, those I mentor, my or my friends. So dont let past hurts or present day hurts limit you from giving a part of what makes you unique and special. There will be those that take advantage of your generosity, but that is ok. You have no control over what anyone will do with your generosity, but you do have control of the generosity that can come forth from you in terms of giving. Like me you will see that you are getting much more back than you can ever give, if you will try to see both sides of giving.
If you are not donating your time or pouring into other people lives, I challenge you to do so. As I said, you will find that you shall get far more in return than you can ever give to someone else. So never ponder giving.