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The Blue Bracelet
Dated: December 7 2019
What does it mean to truly give? This question popped up in my mind today. Probably because it is National Giving Tuesday, but also with the holidays among us, this is often something I ponder this time of year. The act of giving has slowly become more & more of a rare sight than what I remember as a child. I have seen firsthand how age and time can cause many of us, myself included, to love the act of receiving more than the act of giving. As the stressors of life fall upon us we often times take it upon ourselves to ease the load with materialistic things. We think that this will make us feel happiness, but in return it usually leaves us feeling empty. Why is this? Why is that getting what you want is not truly what your heart desires? You see we were made to give! As Winston Churchill so beautifully stated, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” Joy comes from a place deep down, the same place true giving comes from. Does this mean that people should never strive or get what they want? Absolutely not! It just means that there are spaces in everyones heart that are only filled with he act of giving. Giving can wake up a part of you that you believed was dead. When my sister in law, Julie, went to Africa she came back with many stories, but by far my favorite one was the story she told of the little boy named Olamide. Olamide lived in an orphanage with many other little boys and girls. Most of them had no shoes and wore the same thing everyday. Olamide adored my sister in law and they became very close. When Julie eventually had to leave Africa she found Olamide and told him that she had a gift for him. A blue bracelet she had brought from Texas that Olamide told her he really liked. She wanted to give it to him to remember her by. Olamide became so excited! He grabbed the bracelet with a big smile on his face and immediately put it on, however his face quickly went back to normal and he seemed to be sad. Julie was confused. She asked him what was wrong. He asked if the other children would be receiving bracelets as well. Julie explained that there was unfortunately only one. Olamide smiled and said thank you as he proceeded to hand the bracelet back to Julie. He told her that if everyone would not be receiving one then he could not accept it. He hugged Julie and ran back to the field where all 30 children played barefoot in the dirt with one deflated ball. I remember hearing this story while tears filled my eyes and thinking that is true giving. Even though Julie was the one technically giving in the story, the true act of giving came from Olamide. He decided to give instead of receiving. He gave up what he wanted for the sake of others. Giving does not have to be with materialistic things. It could simply mean giving love and understanding to others like Olamide did for his brothers and sisters. Sometimes giving requires sacrifice and we can often think that we are loosing in the situation, but the truth is that we gain so much more by giving. We gain the joyous feeling of being kind. After hearing this story, I chose to never forget what true giving really means. I want to give like Olamide in every area of my life. Giving the gift that can come only from the heart. This is the kind of giving I remember when I was young. Why should we lose that as we grow older? For truly “your greatness is not what you have, it is what you give!”
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