What gives?

Robert T. Kiyosaki calls it “charity.� Catherine Ryan Hyde calls it “paying it forward.� Christians call it “Love.� The basic principle seems to be this: Give away what you’re good at, what you need or what you hold close to your heart and the eventual reward will be greater than your initial gift.

No matter how you look at this – academically, spiritually, sociologically, or through personal emotions – you’ll see that while the process of giving of yourself is counterintuitive, the logical product of selflessness is self-benefit.

  • Academically, Catherine Ryan Hyde’s novel Pay it Forward shows how, mathematically, if each recipient of your ‘gift’ pays 3 new recipients, statistics are good that you’ll be paid as well.
  • Spiritually, charity and gifts of love offer the greatest reward: unity with God. I won’t go too much into specific theology here, but every world religion I have any knowledge of puts a high priority on how loving and giving can only result in a greater gift.
  • Sociologically, there’s a unified societal psyche, if you will, that benefits from individuals freely giving of themselves. Drawing from the statistical statements above, what if everyone treated each other that way? I’m not calling for utopia here, but why not do what we can?
  • Personally, what brings more joy than the ability to give a gift? I can think of few examples of pure joy that even come close to gift giving. Many wealthy people are criticized for donating wings on hospitals, buildings on university campuses or fancy pipe organs in churches because they want to “show off their wealth and get their name on something.â€? I say “good for them.â€? If they really just want recognition, they can plaster their names on billboards; it would probably more exposure for less money. If you’ve criticized someone for their charity, it might be time for you to make a donation.

Thank you, Jonathan. Your gift was well received.

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