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Five Reasons for Givers to Be Grateful

Updated on November 19, 2016
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For MsDora --teacher,counselor, mother and grandmother-- holidays and family make the perfect blend for good times and pleasant memories.

For years my grandfather complained that "thanks" was the word he heard most often from his youngest son. It was the old man's way of saying that he was always the giver and my uncle was always the recipient. What he gave most often were items of clothing: ties, shoes, sweaters which were borrowed, not to be returned.

My grandfather stopped complaining when his son congratulated him for having such a fine sense of fashion, that someone from a generation behind him liked his clothes enough to wear them. After all, he could be grateful that his son viewed him so positively.

Especially during the holiday season, it makes sense for givers (like my late grandfather was) to give thanks for their God-like role of initiating and inspiring gratitude in others. Sometimes, all it takes is one gift to change the holidays for the recipient from uneventful to exciting. Here are five reasons for givers to be grateful.

It is more blessed to give than to receive. (The Bible)

"Giving a Gift" by asenat29
"Giving a Gift" by asenat29 | Source

1) Stewardship

Find out how much God has given you and from it take what you need; the remainder is needed by others. - Augustine

Good stewardship considers that we are all recipients, some having been given more than others. We have someone to thank for sharing, or Someone to thank for the strength and skill to labor and earn. How we distribute our gifts among ourselves and others demonstrates how responsible (or irresponsible) we are in our position as stewards.

Accountability is a major factor. Since all have received, all have something to give. Those who receive the most may be able to give the most. They may have the most gratitude to express. They may even demonstrate their gratitude in the volume of their generosity.

"Distributing Gifts to Veterans" by Senior Master Sgt. David Lipp
"Distributing Gifts to Veterans" by Senior Master Sgt. David Lipp | Source

Regardless of the size of the gift, givers have reason to express thanks with every size of gift they share with their equals, or contribute to the less fortunate. Every food item placed in the Thanksgiving basket, and every gift-wrapped product under the Christmas tree is reason for the givers to be grateful that they have enough to share.

2) Selflessness

When you give and carry out acts of kindness, it’s as though something inside your body responds and says, "Yes, this is how I ought to feel." - Rabbi Harold Kushner

Every gift is not given out of abundance. Even then, there is reason to be grateful for the gratification that comes with sacrificial giving. There is also some character growth that comes with denying one's self so that someone else can benefit from a gift which the giver intended to keep. Such a gift often stretches the giver's compassion, loyalty and sense of worth.

Selflessness places priority on people rather than on possessions. It proves that the giver understands the real purpose of life. There is no comparison between a tangible gift and the gift of life which Jim Elliott ultimately gave, but selfless givers may mature into the acceptance of his philosophy that " He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."

Gaining such wisdom is reason to express gratitude.

3) Seed Planting

Give freely to the world these gifts of love and compassion. Do not concern yourself with how much you receive in return, just know in your heart it will be returned. - Steve Maraboli

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Genuine kindness does not hold out for mutual exchange of gifts, although givers are aware that kindness is usually requited from unexpected sources. Every gift given is a seed sown with the potential to grow and bloom. Sometimes it spreads right back to the giver as in the story of Jackie Turner, portrayed in the 2015 Christmas movie, My One Christmas Wish.

Jackie, neglected by her parents grew up in the foster care system. Despite her early setbacks, she became a generous giver of her time, her friendship, and her strong spirit. When she advertised on Craig's list for a family for Christmas, sixty-two responses made her forget herself and invest her attention and effort in getting others into families for Christmas.

What she reaped was a family who accepted her and a movie deal to tell the story of her selflessness. She continues to give of herself in ministry to youth and families, teaching life skills, music and self-defense. She is grateful that she sowed the seeds which blossomed into circumstances that positively changed her life and the lives of others.

4) Surprises

For it is in giving that we receive. - Francis of Assisi

"Man with Christmas Presents" by Jack Hickson
"Man with Christmas Presents" by Jack Hickson | Source

If givers followed their acts of kindness they would be surprised at the far-reaching effect of their generosity. Still without knowing how they affected other people, they are surprised at the joy they receive from their giving--joy they anticipated for the recipients, not for them.

They become even more surprised when they discover that their gifts often supply the answers to the prayers of others; that some who notice their kindness are impressed to become givers; that they continue to receive more gifts in multiplied amounts.

It is a surprising cycle of generosity and gratitude which inspires more giving, followed by more expressions of thanks over and over, and all over again.

5) Satisfaction

Thank you is the best prayer that anyone could say. . . Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding. - Alice Walker

So at the end of the day or at the end of the holidays, for what do givers give thanks? Hopefully both for the gifts they received and also for the privilege of being givers.

Through the gifts they accept, they allow others to secure the blessings promised to givers. Through the gifts they give, they extend the atmosphere of love, peace and joy. They have nothing about which to boast, only something about which to be satisfied--and grateful.

© 2016 Dora Isaac Weithers

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    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 4 months ago from USA

      Jackie's story is heart warming. There are so many people who are alone for various reasons and it would be wonderful if there were a way to expand and connect to include them in families where there is room at the table -- not just at the holidays but year round. This is a lovely, warm spirited hub.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 4 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Flourish. I just watched the movie a few days ago, and it will be a long time before I forget the message of generosity despite circumstances less than ideal. It inspires me to be such a giver.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 4 months ago from California

      Lovely, lovely hub!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 4 months ago from the short journey

      Such a lovely, lovely read. I will watch the movie soon. Your hub reminds me of reading about a very elderly lady who received some money in the mail. Later, others found that she left a hand written note with the receipt: "Give it. Give it quick before my heart grows cold!" That dear lady's response to her situation has spoken to me many times over the years. Thank you for reminding me of it tonight.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 4 months ago from SW England

      I love the Jackie Turner story. Isn't it amazing what comes from giving, no matter how small?

      I get tremendous satisfaction from giving and half the fun of doing so is in the searching for appropriate gifts. I try to counteract the materialism of children's presents at Christmas by finding something small and personal which they can understand the importance of.

      This is a great hub, especially coming up to Christmas time. You have the gift of using words and you give your wisdom to us. I for one am grateful for your gift and so happy to receive it, Dora.

      I hope life is treating you kindly and that you have a wonderful week!

      Ann

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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      What a beautiful heart you have! You, my friend, are a quality human being.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 4 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Audrey. Happy holidays to you!

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 4 months ago from The Caribbean

      Mary, thanks for sharing that story. At this time of year, sentiments of generosity are especially touching.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 4 months ago from The Caribbean

      Ann, thanks for reading and for your kind expressions. You inspire me, and I receive your gift of inspiration.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 4 months ago from The Caribbean

      Bill, thanks for your gift of friendship and the support and motivation you give all year round.

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 4 months ago from United States

      MsDora over the years I've found that it truly is more blessed to give than to receive. I have never found anything to compare with the feeling that you have helped someone and been a blessing in their lives. Thank you for this wonderful reminder and finest work my friend. whonu

    • Kim Maravich profile image

      Kim Maravich 4 months ago from Cranberry Township, PA

      Thank you for your insightful and heart warming article. We all need this reminder especially as the holidays approach.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 4 months ago from Nashville Tn.

      Your giving heart shows through and is an example to be followed.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 4 months ago from The Caribbean

      Whonu, you keep on giving in the lovely poetry you share, always pointing us to God and the beauty of His creation. I have always been inspired by your messages. Thank you.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 4 months ago from The Caribbean

      True, Kim, sometimes we need to focus on the opportunity to give, rather than receive. Thanks for giving your encouragement.`

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 4 months ago from The Caribbean

      Audrey, you're so kind. Thanks for giving your support and encouragement.

    • parrster profile image

      Richard Parr 4 months ago from Oz

      Some beautiful thoughts. Thank you for helping me star my day in the right way.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 4 months ago from Norfolk

      MsDora

      I love everything about this Hub.

      Yesterday I received a gift in the post from someone I have never met before, in fact, I have only 'known' them just a few days. It was unimagined generosity from a complete stranger, the gift, a large bag filled to brim with a variety of felting wool. My cup runneth over. What can I say MsDora your Hub was timed perfectly.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 4 months ago from london

      Not only an extremely wholesome Hub, but a necessary one. Too often we feel that people should be grateful to us for giving; we do not appreciate that giving is a need as receiving is a need. One of my past poems is on this very subject.

      You chose your quotations well. All favourites of mines. The great Seer Vivekananda used to say that one should be grateful to the man to whom one gives. Giving expands the Heart and will make us receptive to the divine forces flowing from above. All spiritual men and woman encourage us to give, give and give.

      Actually, I wrote another called A' Sleepless Self-giver is God's Victory-Banner-carrier, by Sri Chinmoy.

      Such an important message, Dee, and one without which the Heart will find it difficult to grow. Nice write! Glory be!

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 4 months ago from Queensland Australia

      What a wonderful hub, MsDora. Yes, I totally agree that gift givers need to give thanks for being blessed to be able to give. There is no better feeling, and often the appreciation shown by the receiver is the best gift of all.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      this is great. I need to buckle down and get in the giving spirit. The thing I am most grateful for is gratitude.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 4 months ago from The Caribbean

      Richard, thanks for your encouragement. Hope your day turned out very well.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 4 months ago from The Caribbean

      Sally, you give so much of your talent through your craft and free instructions, you completely deserve that gift of wool. "My cup runneth over" you say. I love it! Thank you for sharing.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 4 months ago from The Caribbean

      Manatita, you always give me tons of encouragement, and this comment is no exception. Your second paragraph illustrates very well what my message is about. Thanks for your continual support.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 4 months ago from The Caribbean

      Jodah, you understand the concept very well. Thanks for stating it so well. Please accept my thanks for all your all encouragement.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 4 months ago from The Caribbean

      Eric, my favorite gratitude quote is from George Herbert's poem "Thou that hast given so much to me, Give one thing more, a grateful heart." Thank you for giving me reason to write it here, and thanks for your continual support and encouragement.

    • Tamarajo profile image

      Tamarajo 4 months ago from Southern Minnesota

      Hello Ms Dora, what a lovely legacy for your grandfather to leave his family...that of being generous. You have shared several relevant things to be considered in being a grateful giver. "My One Christmas Wish" looks like a must see movie. Thanks for sharing and God bless.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 4 months ago from The Caribbean

      Tamarajo, thank you for your kind comment. That movie is full length on YouTube. You will be happy with it. God bless you too.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a lovely article, MsDora. It's also an important one. You have described so well why we should be thankful that we can give to others.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 4 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Alicia. Some people complain when they have to give. I have always wished that I could be the giver. It's such a good feeling.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 months ago from Central Florida

      What a beautiful hub, Dora. Jackie's story is quite amazing, not to mention inspirational.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 4 months ago from England

      I love giving, the look on their faces is something special, great hub MsDora!

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 4 months ago from The Caribbean

      Shauna, I wish I had space to tell the whole story, but I hope my readers would watch the movie. It is inspirational from start to finish. Thanks for your comment.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 4 months ago from The Caribbean

      Nell, thanks for your input. Yes, the look is rewarding and to hear them say how they feel is often even more satisfying.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 4 months ago from South Africa

      I am still more a receiver (of gifts) than a giver, because of my financial status. I look forward to the day when I will be more a giver than a receiver, as giving brings only joy and definitely gratefulness, while receiving makes me feel guilty and miserable because I am not able to give as much as I receive. This is a deep and thought-provoking hub. Generosity is a wonderful gift from heaven :) Thanks, MsDora :)

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 4 months ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      It is refreshing to read an article that addresses both giving and receiving. We can have joy, no matter which side we are on. We can give, no matter what our current circumstances, and we can give gratitude to those who have given to us when we are on the receiving end. I know many people who are very ungracious receivers! How critical it is that we express our thanks, especially when we receive from another unexpectedly!

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 4 months ago from The Caribbean

      Martie, please remember that besides purchased gifts, there are also valuable gifts given in the currency of time, skill, practical assistance and even in love, comfort and compassion. You give plenty in insight through your talent of writing. I understand wanting to give gifts of monetary value, but please be content to give what you can. God bless you! Thanks for your input.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 4 months ago from The Caribbean

      Denise, those ungracious receivers get to me too, and we hope that in time they will experience the satisfaction that comes with expressing gratitude. What a blessing to give! What a blessing to be grateful! Thanks for your contribution to the topic.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 4 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Always right to the point with great thoughts to grow us. MsDora. i was thinking of Ephesians 4:28 (especially applied to the Augustine quote) which says, "Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth."  Thank you for giving to us here in the HP community.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 4 months ago from The Caribbean

      Bill, thanks for adding that quote. It tells how we can help ourselves to become givers. To think that sometimes we take, and not even legally. Our desire to be givers instead helps to put us on the right track.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      A beautiful hub to remind those who don't think of how to be grateful.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 months ago from The Caribbean

      Devika, sometimes we miss opportunities to be grateful. Reminders are in place for all of us. Thanks for your input.

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      Eboni 3 months ago

      This makes me want to be more of a giver. It's just great to see how happy those who receive can be.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 months ago from The Caribbean

      Eboini, thanks for that great response to the article. I feel the same way about being a giver. This is the season for givers.

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