Giving: Level Eight

A cat being scratched behind the ears.

Let’s begin at the bottom of the charitable giving ladder and take a closer look at the lowest rung.  Level eight is defined as someone who gives begrudgingly causing the recipient to feel embarrassed and/or disgraced because of the gift. 

Perhaps you had to ask for a loan or a handout at one point in your life, but with the “gift” a sermon came attached.   With this type of giving, the giver feels entitled – or compelled – to offer a life lesson.  Usually, the benefit the giver receives is that he or she has a “paid” audience.  To receive this type gift you must suffer the sermon!  Ask yourself if the shared lesson is ever really learned.

A second example of this lowest level of giving is when school age children are selling candy, cookies, or other items to support their school’s cause, troop’s mission, church sponsored activities, etc., and the donor buys the product but tells the youngster that it would be better to sell something else or not do it at all.  The activity of the child is demeaned although the product is purchased.  How many of us have worn those shoes as children? 

Another example is when the donor purchases something such as a raffle ticket and complains that they never win, but will support the cause anyway implying it is a scam or just a quick way to acquire funds. 

Each of these examples point to a giver who wants immediate credit and acknowledgement for their gift as well as a “payback” in the form of having the receiver listen to their remarks regarding the donation.  This type of giving masquerades as charity, but the reality is that it just barely hits the mark. 

Real giving is an active process that must consider both the donor and the recipient.  Neither should be short-changed or taken advantage of in gift making and gift receiving.  I often wonder if it is the person who pets the cat who is rewarded with the cat’s purring, or is it the cat who is rewarded with the petting?  It takes both the giver and the receiver to make the process work in tandem.

A quote that I like by author Napoleon Hill states:

“I have observed that all who acquire enduring riches have ascended the ladder of opulence with outstretched hands, to give and to receive aid, for it is a well-known fact that no man may attain enduring success or acquire enduring riches without aiding others who are seeking these desirable ends.  To GET one must first GIVE!”  –Napoleon Hill

Be Your Very Best Always,

Judy Williamson

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