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Posts Tagged ‘giving’

One of the precepts that one takes in Buddhism is to not take anything not freely given. Basically, this is a fancy way of saying don’t steal. This is kind of a no-brainer really. If you steal you’re going to cause suffering: not only suffering of those who lost something but suffering for yourself as well. As with most of the precepts, the really interesting stuff happens when you examine its corollary. What is that corollary? If one is not to take anything not offered the corollary is one should give without being asked.

Stop. Think about that for a minute. Really—stop and think, hard, about that statement. How do you react to that? What do you think about that? Are you challenged or threatened by that thought? What’s exciting or threatening about it? Is this a challenge for you? Is this something that you already do? What does it take for you to be willing to give? When you do give, how much do you give? Is giving to someone else ever a sacrifice or do you give just to the point where it isn’t an inconvenience?

Right now, I’m in a position where I find myself giving a lot. I have been giving to someone who is in need of a lot of assistance. I am also going to be giving my professional skills to a friend who needs to have their web site updated and changed in order to help them grow their business. In the next week or so I’ll be giving blood again and helping a lot of people who, like me, have a less common blood type (A-) and could be in desperate need of blood to live. I’m giving my time and energy to my son and his friends as a leader of his cub scout den. I have also been trying to find very opportunities to help others in whatever small ways I can.

When you begin to look for opportunities to give to others it changes you. It makes you feel good and it changes the way you see those around you. I don’t know of a better way to be able to experience the Buddhist concept of interconnectedness than through an attitude of giving whatever you can to everyone. Here’s the dharmaloss challenge for the day. Every time you interact with a person today, and try to define “interact” as broadly as you can, ask yourself what you can give them or what you can do for them to make their lives better. Be mindful of those around you and try to see how you’re connected to them. It will do wonders for your outlook on life.

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