Unconditional giving

We are approaching the season for giving but while it is good to give and receive presents, the most precious thing we have to give is our time. It is precious because we all have only a limited amount of it, but in terms of value to the recipient it speaks much more than a shiny present unless that present is something they need desperately.

Back in the mid nineties before I met my wife I was rather ill and had to have a quite major operation in hospital. I lived on my own at the time and one of my neighbours collected me from the hospital in London when I was discharged and took me home, which would have been an eighty mile round trip. He then made sure I was comfortable. Over the next few weeks he let himself in my house, got me out of bed one morning when I couldn’t physically manage it myself, and did all my shopping. He drove me back to the hospital for my follow-ups with the consultant.

I couldn’t have managed without my friend. I do not know who could have helped me if he hadn’t, but he did so it wasn’t a concern. My neighbour is an example to us all. He is getting on a bit now and helping is the other way round, though because he is so kind he has no shortage of offers of help for himself.

He got me through a difficult time and helped me to recover. From my point of view the operation was a big success and I was fixed up to be, I hope, useful to others.

We should do our best to give our time, which is what my neighbour did for me, but that which we can spare, because if we are penniless we cannot help others as we should. What’s more, as my grandfather used to say, giving is a selfish act because we get pleasure out of giving.

So, what can I do for you? Am I managing to do it for you already? What would you like me to write about which would be useful to you?

Networking and knowing when to say “thank you”

My grandfather always said giving was a selfish act, because we took pleasure in making the gift or helping someone else. I am sure he was right. Giving does give me a nice warm feeling inside as it must for most people

We all know that to be successful networkers we should give, and give unconditionally, and in business networking we give in order to build trust. We benefit later on from referrals and recommendations, sometimes years later. In the meantime we take pleasure in the giving.

None of that is new. We know all that. So if someone asks for help, we spend time in helping and take quite a lot of trouble, and we get not even the most perfunctory thanks from the recipient, how do we feel? We gave unconditionally. We expected nothing, did we? Well, we would like to know that we had been of assistance, but if we receive no thanks it is harder for us to trust the person we helped. Perhaps that person just uses and takes from people. We hate to judge the person but we are left not knowing,

Saying “thank you” is so important.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]