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Giving and Receiving

This month we are focusing on giving and receiving. A great example of the benefits of giving and receiving is the book, The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. This is a wonderful book to read with your family. The author showed several examples of how happy the tree was to provide the boy with the materials he needed to live a better life. The boy was able to live a better life because of the generosity of the tree.

The acts of giving and receiving are connected. There are many ways to give. Giving can be a small token of appreciation; allowing someone to go first, a smile, a kind note or text, or any act which leaves the recipient feeling good about themselves. Giving and receiving are beneficial to both parties. The person receiving the gift or gesture feels a sense of connection or belonging; it helps to build trust in others and increases awareness in how people treat one another. In the story The Giving Tree, you can see that the connection the boy and the tree built lasted a lifetime.

There are also benefits to the giver. Studies have shown that giving to others leads to lower stress levels and an increase in happiness. Each time the tree gave to the boy he was happy. During these stressful times, consider how a small gesture like a compliment, a greeting, or a smile can make someone’s day. Think about a time when you practiced giving and how that impacted you and the other person.


Giving Is Better | A Little Arrow Story!

How can we practice receiving?

  • ​Accept all compliments - let the giver do their part and be thankful for the compliment!

  • ​Gratitude - Be grateful - Count your blessings – Write down five things you are grateful for today and make it a daily routine.

  • ​​Allow yourself to be YOU - with all the strengths and weaknesses you may have. Try not to pretend to be perfect, showing only your "greatness" – be real. This facilitates giving and receiving.

  • ​Ask for help. Give the gift of giving to others. Start with small things, notice how happy people are when you ask for their help and how eager they are to help you. Accept their help with gratitude. That’s it. Watch them enjoy the gift you gave them by asking for their giving.

  • ​​​Once we learn to receive, giving will have a whole new meaning. Receiving becomes giving and giving becomes receiving.

How can we practice giving?

  • Declutter & donate
  • Earn money and give some of it to others
  • Prepare a donation to deliver to a church or school
  • Pick up a piece of trash
  • Give a gift
  • Take time to listen to others
  • Plant a tree
  • Recycle
  • Give blankets to an animal shelter
  • Give a compliment
  • Write a letter of thanks to a community hero


Philanthropy and Service-Learning: Why do they matter?

5 Gratitude Activities for Teens

Gratitude…we hear this word over and again. What does it mean anyway? defines the word grateful as “warmly or deeply appreciative of kindness or benefits received, thankful.”

Here are 5 ways to practice gratitude

  1. Giving Thanks, Before a Meal. In the spirit of the upcoming holidays, give thanks for your meal and all who contributed to growing and preparing it. Pause and notice if your food tastes a little differently and maybe you will eat more mindfully. This is not reserved just for the holidays, practice this at every meal.
  2. Write a Letter. Write a letter to someone who has had a positive influence on you. This can be anyone who has helped you in some way, big or small. Be sure to specifically acknowledge what this person did for you and how it affected you.
  3. Gratitude Reminder. Place an object or simply a post-it note somewhere in your home which will remind you to feel grateful each time you look at it. (This works well for affirmations, too!)
  4. Gratitude Journal. Begin a gratitude journal and take 2 minutes to write in in before going to bed each night. Write 5 things about that day for which you are grateful. Some days you will have some exciting things to write about. Other days it can be a simple as “I am so grateful that I wore socks today because it was cold.” Acknowledge one ungrateful thought and transform it to a grateful one. For example, you might change “I can’t believe I have so much homework,” to “I am grateful that I have an extra day to do it.”
  5. Stick-Em’s Game. This activity is great for large or small gatherings. On a post-it note, write a word or phrase that demonstrates gratitude for the person you are writing about. Start with “Thank you for_____”. For example, “Thank you for being so kind to me when my cat died.” Walk around the room and "stick-em'" on the backs of each person you are writing to. When everyone is finished, help each other pull them off and spend some time reflecting on the appreciation you have received and given.

    Once gratitude is truly felt, it can be a game changer. Acceptance, contentedness, and overall sense of well-being are the direct result of gratitude. What are you thankful for today?

“It is not happy people who are thankful, it is thankful people who are happy.” -Author unknown

Recommended Reading

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