The Pleasure of Giving
Christmas is the biggest manifestation of giving of the year and for this very reason I love this time of the year!
An act of giving is an act of kindness and, most of the times, it is not the materialistic gift we need the most but a smile, a kind word, a wise piece of advice, reassurance that something will work out or somebody will be OK, a nice compliment when you need it most, somebody’s company when you feel particularly fragile or lonely. All these acts of giving are “free”, still they will mean the world to the person who receives them.
There is nothing in this world quite as special and magic as the gift of true giving – no expectations attached – when you experience first-hand the wonderful impact it can have, it becomes the most wonderful feeling in the world.
For me, a gift is something which is enjoyed twice, firstly by the person who is giving out that gift and then also by the person who receives the gift.
These are some of the gifts you can give out this Christmas and why not the rest of the year too:
The gift of a smile or a hug – A smile puts others at ease when they need it most. Think of that job interview or that difficult tender, how were you feeling at the time: stressed, scared, hopeless? Think of the healing power of that smile you receive from your boss, your colleague, that customer. It lifted you up and instantly left you relaxed, at ease, happier. Never underestimate the healing power of a smile. Not long ago, I read about this teacher who has 2 baskets under her desk at school. One contains coupons for a hug and the other basket contains coupons for a smile. It has been demonstrated that even young children need a safe place to let someone know they need a hug or a smile.
A hard day in the office can be turned into a joyful one for many of us with a simple smile from your boss or your colleague or your customer.....and please, don’t forget to smile when you answer the phone, the person on the side will notice it straight away and quite possibly will smile too. Give out a smile so you can receive one back!
The gift of listening – I love taking public transport and talking with strangers, they tend to be elderly people, they tell me stories about their past, their families, their lives. I love listening to them and seeing their faces glow as our conversation develops. When I say goodbye to them at the end of the trip, I can also see the smile on their faces. It always brightens up my day. All they give me always exceeds by far what I give to them. This is what true giving is about.
The gift of advice – This is a gift I have been fortunate enough to receive a lot in the last year or so while we were setting up Veretti Kids Sunglasses. We have had wonderful business teachers who have given us advice on how to make the right choices for our businesses. Now, I am the student, in years to come, I will hopefully be the teacher.
The gift of giving out your time – It might be to your children by playing with them, reading them a story, taking them to the park. It might be to a friend by listening to her or sharing a holiday or just having a chat and a latte together one day after work. It might be to your neighbour by visiting her in hospital after her operation. All these are gifts of true giving and I honestly think these are the type of memories we will remember when our end is near. Be generous with your time and share it with the people you love and you care about.
The gift of giving out a present – It does not have to be an expensive one. Things such as a bunch of flowers, a few chocolates, a scented candle, a good book, her/his favourite tea/coffee. As Carlos Ruiz Zafon once said “Presents are made for the pleasure of who gives them, not the merits of who receives them”.
From a business perspective, think of Father Christmas, he was by far the most successful fictional entrepreneur of all times. His business is now a global entity with a very strong brand, respected by all and with NO competition. Think of all his attributes and what his business model is about. His business model epitomises the art of true giving.
Why don’t you make it your own?
Please, feel free to share with us some of your gifts for this Christmas.
Merry Christmas and a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year 2016 for everyone!!!!
Veretti Kids Sunglasses