A young man I know has hit some very difficult times of late and I decided to help him out. I helped feed him when he had no food; and I helped him move when he could no longer afford his house. Today, as we moved the last of his household goods from the moving truck that I rented into to storage in my basement he asked what I wanted out of helping him out. He could not comprehend that there are people willing to help another out without wanting anything in return.
I said to him “The gift is in the giving, not by what is given.” As he looked somewhat confused, I said “Someday I hope you will understand that I received more today than you received.”
Later, I heard him speaking to my daughter about it. My daughter explained that her father is a good man who has always helped others when he could. Then she told him the story about when she was in middle school, she had an assignment to get her parent’s definitions of different words. When she asked me what my definition of wealth was, I answered “Wealth is not about the amount of worldly goods you amass while you are here, but by how long and how fondly you are remembered after you are gone.” I was impressed that she remembered this answer twenty six years later.
She then told him “The longer you remember what a person has given you, the more you will have repaid their kindness.”
So for today, I guess my thought for the day is more like thoughts for today. They are:
- The gift is in the giving, not by what is given.
- The giver often receives far more than the recipient of a gift.
- The longer you remember what a person has given you, the more you will have repaid their kindness.