When we think of giving, we often envision gifts of money, goods, services or time. In this context, gifts sometimes become obligations or burdens.
Yet, generosity needn’t be expensive or time consuming. The gifts we possess within ourselves have the power to significantly impact others in very positive ways. The key is to recognize your gifts and share them with others.
This true story about a little girl at Disney World is a beautiful illustration of the power that even a simple gift can have.
Barely five years old, she sat in her stroller, busily coloring on a piece of paper. The adults accompanying her didn’t notice anything odd, until the little girl jumped from the stroller and began to dart across the parking lot. “Wait,” her mother called, “Where are you going? There are cars everywhere, you must be careful!” The little girl’s eyes widened as she pointed in the direction of a parking attendant and said, “Mommy, please. I need to give him this picture.” On the small piece of paper, the little girl had drawn a rudimentary figure, apparently directing cars. Her mother smiled and took her by the hand and approached the young man. “Sir, she has something for you,” the mother said, pointing to the little girl. The youngster held the drawing high and said, “This is for you. Thank you for keeping us safe.”
The little girl also shared her gifts of artwork with a security officer and a park admission attendant. In each case, the recipient smiled broadly, impressed at the masterpiece of generosity and kindness represented in the child’s drawing. By sharing the gift of her crayon art, the little girl made the world a better place for each of three people.
As you reflect on this story, think about the gifts you possess, however simple or small, and consider how you can use them to improve the lives of others. Generosity doesn’t have to be expensive. A considerate gesture, a compassionate ear, a brief note of thanks, or even a stick-figure picture can have more impact than you realize.