I read this quote a few weeks ago…
You cannot live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you. John Wooden (One of the most successful basket ball coaches ever)
It had me contemplate what are the things we can give for which people can never repay us? And are you able to give from a place that disallows any form of guilt from the receiving party?
The purity of giving is a rare act. I give. Not to get. When I give from a place of abundance, be that abundance in spirit or form…and without seeking anything but my own joy of giving…it allows the gift to be received in its purity. This does not mean that the receiver will be able to receive in the same spirit of purity as they have their own journey with being able to receive. It does mean that the chances of them receiving without guilt are heightened. I may need to clarify the terms of my giving to enable more ‘guilt free’ receipt, as many people do have a very hard time receiving.
What can I give that cannot be repaid?
It may start in the subtle world….I can give a kind thought…in deep sincerity, made even stronger if the kind thought is something I would not normally extend in that circumstance. Sending love and blessings to a person who attacks you would be an example.
It can be more overt. A compliment….especially if I take the time to consider the compliment and delivery and how I can have it be an arrow head that penetrates hard shells and reaches the soft target that is so absent this particular compliment. “I see you…I see the parts of you that few see and fewer still acknowledge, parts that you long to be seen”
It can be an act that extends beyond time and space. A hug, holding another…when their world is breaking apart…just holding. No false platitudes or personal discomfort…being willing to be fully present in the holding for as long as that takes.
The more I sat with this quote the more I wanted to evoke this as part of my life…as my daily practice. To each day find a way to give to someone something for which they can never repay me.
Why? Because of my own pleasure in doing that…because I know the feeling of receiving at this level…because if I and everyone reading this practiced this then we would change the world…because it feels so good to do this…because it is something worth focusing on that is far more valuable than landing my next gig…because I will like myself more…because it will be fun to focus on this every day….because this kind of habit becomes a source for a happy life by accident…
And what about if we built our companies to have this kind of giving be part of the culture…not through shame or guilt, but through generosity, joy, abundance…? Hmm…I think I would like to hang around that business..be a customer…engage…
What about you….?