My Heart in Africa
This may be the best I have to offer:
That’s not a rehearsed answer, but one that comes from a lot of experience – both good and bad.
I love to give. And I respect people who give; Especially people who give out of their lack. In fact, I would say that sort of giving humbles me, and inspires me to give more.
And as we walked away, my dad said something that I have never forgotten. He said, “She gave those to you, not because you did anything special, but because she has come to realize that it is better to give than to receive.”
I desire to be that sort of person, and I recognize it’s a result of a lifetime watching my father give to others around us. Sometimes I wondered why he was going over the top, especially when the person didn’t do anything extraordinarily special in mind to warrant the gift in the first place.
But in some ways, that’s the best type of giving – the unexpected, over the top kind!
I wish I could claim absolute humility in my giving. I wish I could say that I have learned to give without any sort of reward for myself. But in all honesty, I'm not sure that can ever be true. Take for instance the other day when I gave Waliko a new bike as my going away present. I had for many months been planning this surprise, and slowly been setting aside enough money to make sure I could get him the best “dirt road” bike offered in Malawi.
When it finally came time to give it to him, I thought I was going to jump out of my skin with excitement. His look of awe and confusion was a complete treasure for me. And I couldn’t stop talking…I just rambled and rambled with excitement. Finally Jenn, my housemate had to say, “Melissa, stop talking!”
The reward to me felt greater than the gift I was giving. I knew what a bicycle could offer to him, and I knew it was something he would never have bought for himself. And knowing all that, made me so over the moon excited! I am not sure how to give without that sort of enthusiasm attached, and if it’s considered selfish to love that feeling, well, then I do apologize.
Its in these moments that I realize why my dad is addicted to giving and why, so many years ago, the unknown grandma gave me a $1. It really truly is better to give than to receive; undeniably, incomparably
Originally posted to My Heart in Africa