giving differently

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To love is not to give of your riches  but to reveal to others their riches, their gifts, their value,  and to trust them and their capacity to grow.  -Jean Vanier, The Broken Body: Journey to Wholeness-   Giving to others can be tricky.  Especially when the ones you’re giving to are seen as poor or needy. There can be a weird power difference there.  An attitude of I’m doing a good thing by helping you.  You’re welcome.  And our guilt is relieved, so we move on. What if our actions of giving instead demonstrated genuine commitment to people? Yes, we have basic needs that need to be met- so I’m not proposing that we stop giving clothes, food, or money to each other. Please keep it up.  But if you stop there, you could miss something. It requires a radical kind of love to step out of your comfort zone and have a conversation with someone, especially if that someone is a part of a different social class.  And then continue to have conversations with them is even harder.  To let them be vulnerable with you and to be vulnerable with them is hardest. It is this kind of relationship that really empowers.  It is helpful and nice to be given things, but it is empowering to be known and told that you are strong and gifted.  And to know that those words have credibility because a person who knows you can point to times that you have demonstrated … Read More

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