Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Inspired by Giving People

A brief tribute to lovely people I know.


My lifestyle breeds selfishness. From where a lot of my friends stand, watching me from afar, countries away, they only see the sacrifices I make. They see that I move around a lot and don't have a home, and I miss out on family celebrations and the like. They might think this makes me a selfless person.


If only it were so. The truth is, that the big things I've given up have granted me free reign to allow myself everything I might want in terms of the little things. My employer encourages it, too: they like being able to hold on to their employees for as long as possible so they make sure we get our holidays and comfortable hotel rooms.


I am well aware of this fact and keep telling myself to not get sucked in by the sense that I deserve any and all comfort for myself that I might want. But the truth is that I probably do depend on those little self-indulgences in order to keep going at what is in fact a very stressful work and life style.


And I've become horridly awful at being a giving person. I forget most people's birthdays and anniversaries and don't think about Christmas cards until it's too late to bother. I write prayer lists to pray for people I love and then forget to pray. I occasionally brainstorm creative gifts I can order on Amazon to send to people but never actually get to it. I don't give food to people I pass on the streets or cook meals for friends who are sick. It's a big deal if I postpone a meal or stay a little longer at the breakfast table to keep a colleague company!


So this self-absorbed blog is actually intended as a tribute to my lovely friends who I saw this past weekend, who reminded me that my life is not normal. Having a heart is closer to normal. I spent time with people who actually arranged their schedules around my convenience, who picked me up and dropped me off and stopped everything to spend time together. And not only were they kind to me, but I saw them being kind to other people, both strangers and other friends. They didn't base all decisions around themselves.


I want to learn from you, my friends. A little bit goes a long way.


22 comments:

Old Ollie said...

KP - we are all selfish, us bloggers, but I
enjoyed your honest thoughts.

happygirl said...

Yep, we are all the center of our own universe. It's a BIG club. Welcome Kati. I'm lousy at the birthday card thing. Maybe if I find a app for it, it would help. I just wrote a letter to my Compassion child. The first one this year. I'm awesome. NOT. Love this post. :)

Brian Miller said...

thanks for letting us learn right along side of you...i want that heart as well...smiles.

David N. said...

I know no one more selfish than I am. Location and vocation don't really factor in.

Cathy said...

You have unselfishly shared your hard won wisdom. Thank you!

Brandee Shafer said...

There are seasons for everything. I do alright with giving, but my house looks like a bomb went off? Which is unfair to the little baby just learning to roll and scooch. So I should stop giving (and probably blogging, too), and get my floor vacuumed. I don't know what I'm trying to say. (This happens a lot lately.) But don't be too hard on yourself. And good for you for recognizing you're not perfect! Because none of us is! Blessings....

Rambling Heather said...

Reminds me of this verse in 1 Timothy 1:15 "Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst."

Selfish, yes that is often me too! Thank you for sharing your heart.

LauraX said...

I think we all get lost in ourselves from time to time Kati...this is part of the human experience...and yet the work you do is not selfish, and your sharing here is not selfish either...it is true we could all be more giving than we are...and perhaps it is something for many of us to work on...I know I too am not the best at remembering birthdays or things like that...I'm not a big sender of cards...but sometimes giving is as simple as a smile...or that extra cup of coffee with a friend...or an email. Sometimes that's really enough.

tinuviel said...

I feel the same way about receiving and giving hospitality (the same way being humbled by the generosity and kindness of others and my selfishness getting in the way of passing it on). Perhaps anything that exposes our selfishness to us is a good thing, though? The first step towards transformation?

Thank you for your honesty sharing challenging thoughts from your own struggle.

Nancy said...

Thank you for putting into words what so many of us (myself included) think but won't say out loud. Those who are good at extending selfless grace are such a blessing and an encouragement--such a picture of what Christ-likeness can be.

emily wierenga said...

oh kati, thank you for your humility. this post brought tears. i want to be this kind of person too. let's do it. xo

nic said...

i have so much to learn about giving that it sometimes feels paralyzing. but this awareness? is a fantastic place to start. i'm with em: let's do it.

Anna said...

I'm the worst at birthday cards. And I find myself in agreement with Old Ollie & happygirl...we are all selfish, each one of us, gone astray in self-absorption. And you remind me of something, when others show love through their lack of selfishness, that's when I see it in myself the strongest. Thanks for sharing these honest words, Kati.

alittlebitograce said...

Having children has revealed just how selfish I am. I think this is something we can all slip into far too easily. What a blessing when we meet those who have escaped. Not only do they bless us and others, they show us the way out too.

Jen said...

This beautiful in the honesty and rawness. It inspires me to be better than I am.

Loni said...

We learn greatly when we find others lifting our arms and carrying us . . . you will find it easier now because this caused such great impact in your life. God uses us this way! :)

elizabeth said...

Unfortunately selfishness seems to be the default setting of the old nature doesn't it? I'm right there with you friend, needing to put others before self.

truly said...

I can completely relate to this. I tend to get so caught up in myself, way too much. You have reminded me to me more mindful of this and work toward improving in this area.

Mama Zen said...

I absolutely relate to this.

Joybird said...

Some days I think I;m doing a good job at serving and focusing on loving others. The problems is that at anytime I'm only thirty seconds away from dissolving into an "it's all about me" stance. And I commonly traverse that commute. I love that you were inspired this weekend. I think that being given to, especially sacrificialy, not just gifts but time and energy, motivate me to generosity. I respond to a good example.

Joybird said...

BTW how was your first coffee?

HopeUnbroken said...

don't we all have such battles to combat?! kudos to you for being brave enough to not only go through the self-examination but declare it for all to know. you have many comrades walking alongside you.
thanks for the kind words you are always quick to offer on mine and others' blogs. i always feel encouraged when i see you've posted.

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