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Citizen Toolkit

You Are the Best Gift

It’s not just what you give, but how you give it.

By Azim Jamal and Harvey McKinnon 31 Jul 2005 | TheTyee.ca

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[Editor’s note: This is the final installment in a five-part Tyee series.]

Make a commitment to action. Remember: To give to others, you have to give to yourself. If your life and priorities aren’t balanced, you have less to give and are less likely to reach your full potential. Are we saying you need to be perfect in all areas? No. We simply believe that all of us are happier when we strive to be better people. We also believe perfection is impossible. But progress is possible, and healthy.

A Final Word

Giving is a beautiful experience. By practicing giving, you make a difference to others and to yourself. It is a powerful feeling to be able to give regularly.

By giving, you can live to your potential, avoid loneliness, become fearless, touch your spirit, and find meaning and fulfillment. The universe is abundant. As Azim says, “The more you are in the flow of giving, the more abundance flows through you.”

There is no shortage of people and places you can give to. You can give to yourself, your family, your elders, your children, your community, nonprofit social organizations, and the planet.

You can give the next generation many gifts. One of the best gifts you can give children is to teach them the beauty of giving. You can also teach them how to take care of the environment so that they leave it in better condition for future generations.

Everyone can give something — a smile, a prayer, a good thought. Giving can be tangible or intangible. You can give wisdom, love, laughter, time, money, skills, attention, or forgiveness.

It is not only what you give that matters, but also how you give it. When you give unconditionally and with respect, you create the biggest impact.

It is good to give when things are going great, but you can also give in hardship. Sometimes, by giving in hardship you forget your problems, create breakthroughs, and find solutions to your challenges.

You can give a little or you can give a lot. It is your choice. The more you give, the more you receive. Your rewards may be instantaneous or they may take a while, but no giving goes unnoticed by the universal laws of nature.

By living a simple life and applying the discipline of tithing from a young age, you can create a habit of giving that becomes as natural as breathing.

You can also work to give up some of the bad habits that stop your progress and dampen your giving capacity, such as watching too much television, smoking, using drugs, or drinking too much.

Will You Help?

Will you take a few minutes, or a few hours, to help promote the power of giving?

Our hope is that this book will inspire you to become a better and more compassionate giver. We believe giving will add more meaning to your life and help build healthier communities everywhere. If you believe in the power of giving, we’d like you to consider doing three things that will spread the word:

1. Tell your friends about this book and encourage them to read it.

2. Make a personal commitment to becoming a conscious giver.

3. Become a Power Giver: promote the ideas contained in this book.

We hope you have enjoyed our book and have been inspired to continue your giving and making a difference. We hope that you find abundance, happiness, and inspiration from The Power of Giving.

Harvey McKinnon is a leading fundraising expert, author of the fundraising bestseller Hidden Gold, and documentary filmmaker. He founded and runs the Vancouver –based fundraising consultancy, Harvey McKinnon Associates.

Azim Jamal is a international inspirational speaker and author of several books including The Corporate Sufi and the best selling 7 Steps to Lasting Happiness. He was a senior partner in an accounting firm for 15 years before making the transition to “accounting for life.”

The Power of Giving is available for purchase online from both Chapters and Amazon Or at Banyan Books 1-800-663-8442.

All profits from the sale of the book go to charities.

It’s also available as free download from here.

Others in the series:

Give and Get

True Leadership

Building Heart Fiber in Kids

‘To Live in the Hearts of Others is Not to Die’

Any ideas about the best ways to give? Put them below.  [Tyee]

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