As I was thinking about this week’s fundamental behavior GIVE BACK, I began to ponder many of the lessons learned, or if you will prosperity realized, through giving back.
Giving Back is good for you. It is easy to see how giving back is good for others. What may be surprising is giving back is also good for you. Science shows that when you give, you become happier. Giving back activates the reward center in your brain, releasing chemicals to create a feeling of warmth and contentment. Other research has found that giving back can extend your life. So, a giving heart may actually beat longer! How is that for a win-win? Booker T. Washington said it this way: “Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others.”
Giving Back encourages others to give back. Giving is like throwing a pebble in a pond. It makes a splash where it lands, then ripples form. These rings start to move away, each one moving further away, each one larger than the one before. You may never know who is encouraged by your giving back. But rest assured, someone has noticed your giving. Your giving back can have a ripple effect beyond your own horizons to people and places you may never see.
In his book, The Butterfly Effect, Andy Andrews tells the story how a selfless act of a Missouri farmer rippled through a famous scientist, a Vice President and a Nobel Prize Winner whose discovery has saved the lives of over 2 billion people. Andrews closed the story with this challenge, “You have been created in order that you might make a difference. You have within you the power to change the world.” Truth is, when you give back, you make a difference beyond anything you may foresee or imagine.
Giving Back teaches gratitude. When we give back, we learn a new appreciation for what we have been given. We all have so much for which to be grateful. Personally, I find an attitude of gratitude encourages a giving heart, while a giving heart expands an attitude of gratitude. As Chris Hogan says, “It’s just hard to be hateful when you’re grateful.”
Giving Back doesn’t have to be costly to be priceless. Author Steve Goodier says it best: “Money is not the only commodity that is fun to give. We can give time, we can give our expertise, we can give our love or simply give a smile. What does that cost? The point is, none of us can ever run out of something worthwhile to give.”
A few years ago, I met Sherry while volunteering with a local food ministry. Sherry entered the center pulling a wobbly-wheeled, rust-colored wagon containing what I imagine were all her worldly possessions. What captured my attention was that Sherry’s smile absolutely lit up the room. I soon noticed Sherry is a giver. As she made her way through the room, Sherry greeted everyone with a smile, a few hugs, and occasionally reached into her wagon to give an apple to a child, warm socks to a homeless mother and even a cane to a man with an obvious need. Sherry did not have much herself, yet she found great joy in giving. Later I had the opportunity to ask Sherry how she could be so generous with the things that she herself may truly need. Sherry’s response is a great reminder and a good way to tie this all together.
“Giving is not about what you have. Giving is about who you are.”
The Fundamental Behaviors are about who we are in YKK. In keeping with who we are, what ways can we find to give back this week?
Director of Finance
Tape Craft Corporation