Giving Back Can Change Your Attitude and Provide Added Benefits!

Are you a giver? I know a few people who I’m sure would give me the shirt off their back if I asked. That’s just who they are. Generous, good, giving people. They’ve discovered the secret reward of generosity. And whether they’ve learned it, or they’re just naturally giving, they always seem happier.

In full disclosure, that’s not me. I’ve always had a problem being generous and giving. I just have trouble giving someone else my hard-earned money or something else that’s mine. Now with age, I’ve softened considerably, and I do give more, but . . .

an attitude of givingTo a Kid, Candy is Money!

When I was growing up, I loved candy. You could probably say that I hoarded candy. In fact my sisters did say it . . . many times. And I was stingy when it came to sharing or giving my candy to them. I wanted it all to myself. Even though they had none, I refused to give any to them.

So of course, they started taking it without asking. Which is of course stealing. But if it’s from your brother, it’s okay . . . right?

“He shouldn’t have that much candy anyway.”

So to combat the stealing, I had to take precautions. I started by hiding candy throughout my bedroom. Behind books on the bookshelf. In the pockets of my clothes and jackets hanging up in my closet. I had candy stashed in an old motorcycle helmet, underneath underwear in dresser drawers, and inside dusty trophies.

And yet they still found it – most of it anyway. Though I don’t think they ever found the candy inside my jacket pockets in my closet.

Combating Candy Thievery

Anyway, instead of giving them some of my candy, I figured if they couldn’t get in my room, that would solve my problem. It didn’t matter that I had plenty to spare. And I could always buy some more. I had a job after-all, while they were to young to work.

So I rigged up some wires from my doorknob to the outlet near the door. I was smart enough to use an outlet that was controlled with a switch. I figured that once I flipped the light switch, my doorknob would be electrified, and shock anyone who tries to come in.

But I didn’t think it through, because they obviously weren’t going to come in if I was in my room. And if I electrified my doorknob and then left, how was I supposed to get back in my own room without being electrocuted.

But I told them about the “trap”, and it scared them enough that they left my room alone. It also got the attention of my father who was not very happy that I had tried to electrocute my sticky fingered sisters. Turns out it didn’t work anyway. The doorknob wasn’t conductive and if it was, I would have just caused a short and tripped the breaker. But of course that wasn’t the point. I went to great lengths to not share or give any of my candy away.

Hoarding is the Same as Not Giving

But when it comes down to it, what’s the point of wealth if you aren’t going to do good with it? Both for you, your family, and for others.

You see, once your needs are met both now and in the future, your excess money is of no use to you. It’s a great legacy to pass on your wealth to your children, but it’s also a great legacy to give it away. Sure you can always buy another toy or vacation, but it won’t really make you happy.

Money only has value when you use it, and if you aren’t going to use it . . . what’s the point?

Giving is an admirable trait. And some have it from a young age. As you can see, I did not have that gift. But I’ve been learning. And just like me, you can learn to be more giving. Helping those in need brings blessings and happiness not just to them, but also to you.

Have you ever heard the phrase, “It’s more blessed to give than to receive”? It’s so true, and not just because of the source (it’s from the Bible), but also because I’ve seen it in action. And I’ve read many stories of giving. Like this one.

Just think about this for a second. Would you rather watch a football game or a movie by yourself? Or . . . Would you rather share the experience with some of your friends or family?

Of course it’s always more fun to watch with others. When you share the experience with them, it enriches both you and them. In other words, you all have more fun.

That may be a silly illustration. But when you treat your money like the tv watching experience, and share it, you and the receiving person both benefit.

You’ve essentially doubled the value of the initial event or gift.

Take Action

Don’t believe me? Try it out for yourself! Earmark a crisp ten-dollar bill for giving. Find a need somewhere. It doesn’t have to be huge. Look for a small need, and meet it with that money. It could be buying a few groceries for someone. Or perhaps a hamburger for someone else. Maybe you buy a card or a small token of encouragement for someone who is struggling.

Whatever you do, do it out of compassion and a desire to help.

Once you start to give, your attitude will start to change. Helping others may seem counter-intuitive, but it really does give happiness.

Don’t be like the younger candy-hoarding version of me. Give and help those in need.

And as for me, I’m still learning. And by learning, I mean, I’m also looking for some opportunities to help those around me as well. Hopefully we can all do some good in the lives of others this Christmas season.

Merry Christmas!!

If you do this, would you let me know how it went? Either in the comments or directly. I’d love to hear about you helping others.

And thanks again for reading and sharing

-Chris

Author

Chris is the original Cash Dad. He's a father of 3 and a mechanical engineer by trade.

5 Comments

  1. Thanks for the shout out. 🙂 I started giving in high school and have grown into it over the years. I always try to share that in ways it seems approachable and easy to get started.

    • Chris Reply

      Thanks for the comment. You seem much more giving than I am. My wife is the giving person in our family, and she’s still working on me. ?
      It’s certainly something I want to do more of both now and in the future. ?

  2. I love that we can make this our goal for the future when we have more to give! That story about the two bears was so sweet. And a great reminder that even at this stage in our lives we should find ways to give on a smaller scale. Something that I need to be reminded of.
    You are a different man than the one I married. You have become a much kinder, sensitive and giving person over the years. And that makes me love you even more. Thank you for all that you give to our family, not just financially but through your love and example!
    Kate

  3. We also borrowed the change from your helmet too that was on top of your bookshelf ? #sorrynotsorry #familyisforever

    • Chris Reply

      Haha – don’t think I didn’t know how much I had. ? Thanks for reading and commenting. ?

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