You Have To Give It Away To Keep It
There’s an old AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) slogan I learned many years ago, “you have to give it away to keep it.” The reference was to sobriety, but it applies to most everything. I can describe the phrase as karma, generosity, tithing, and selfless giving. Detailed in my article titled “Ricochet” is a similar example of this theory. In the simplest of terms, I call it:
Here is a fail-proof method for achieving instant gratification that will last a lifetime. The scheme is easy! Give or sacrifice something that has great value to you and infinite value to the recipient. Give without hesitation and expect nothing in return. If the deed is random and anonymous, it will bring the most favorable results.
This is my friend Fatima. We met a few years ago during my first semester of college. She was 14-years-old, and we shared the same English professor. During the six weeks, I could participate on campus, the only factual details I knew about Fatima were her name and age. Her modest attire and first impression gave little information about her personality. I could only hypothesize something about hockey and the Washington Capitals. It turns out she wasn’t an ordinary hockey fan. She is a HUGE hockey fan and far from ordinary! I have not received official affirmation, but I presume she was born with a hockey stick in her tiny hand and soothed her teething gums with frozen hockey pucks. I learned that her passion for the “Washington Capitals” was equivalent to my love for the “Boston Red Sox.” I felt a heavy tug on my heart. A prized possession, packed away in storage, flooded my thoughts and I knew what I had to do.
“Giving It Away to Keep It”
Despite knowing nothing about hockey, I have always enjoyed watching Peter Bondra play. A good friend of mine and amazing artist, Chuck B., designed and executed a custom paint job for a player on the Washington Capitals. One day, Chuck “surprise” gifted me one of my most prized possessions. It was an authentic Peter Bondra Capitals jersey, autographed by the entire team! That jersey was so special and one of a kind. As my eyes filled with tears of joy, I thought, “that had to be one hell of a paint job!” Of course, it was! We are talking about Chuck B.! He’s been creating designs and painting NHRA race cars for a long time, and his talent has always been in high demand. I will never forget his thoughtfulness and generosity! I’m certain he felt the effects of “Instant Gratification.”
For at least a decade, the jersey was preserved and packed away in my basement. I LOVED that jersey, but I knew Fatima would love it even more. At the time, I was short on money. Someone suggested I sell the item on eBay to supplement my medical and living expenses. To be honest, there isn’t enough money in the world that could give me the feels I got from giving it away! Since I’ve gotten sick, I have become economically challenged. However, I have been fortunate and blessed in other ways. My faith has changed me from the inside out. Without a second thought, I gave that jersey to Fatima. My Bondra jersey is a rare collectible which held great sentimental value to me. For Fatima, it is a cherished treasure which exceeds all limits of monetary worth. The satisfaction and immense joy I received was instant! Through “giving it away” I got to keep a moment in time which supplies me with continuous joy and permanent instant gratification. Effects of one priceless moment changed our lives and generated a cascading influence throughout our entire classroom. Imagine the change this could incite in the world!
I always say, “Why settle for ordinary when you can have extraordinary?” I must ask, why settle for superficial, materialistic joy that is temporary when you can have something that will last a lifetime?
I challenge each of you to step out of your comfort zone. Give away one of your favorite things to someone who would not have the resources to acquire it on their own. I’m excited to share this proactive approach to a permanent change. I’m beyond excited to see how it can make a difference in your life and the lives of the people you share it with.