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Linda Alessi: Some inspiration for giving

Linda Alessi • Updated Aug 5, 2017 at 11:00 AM

Inspiration comes to us from many different sources. As I sat in my usual seat in church one Sunday, I was truly inspired by a visiting missionary who spoke to the congregation. She spoke of her first 20 years on her initial missionary assignment in Africa. 

 She recounted the famine of the region where children would not eat every day.  She noted one child refused to eat Thursday, since it was his brother’s day to eat.  She witnessed children afflicted with disease where medicine was not accessible.  Children lived in the streets and went place to place seeking a safe haven for the night. She surely was a giver. She ministered to them in any way she was able to do.  She fed them; she hugged them; she listened to them. She gave hope to them. If one child was saved, it was through her efforts.

It came to me after listening very intently to the message delivered that it had affected my heart and soul. I feel grateful for this divine intervention for the subject of giving was brought clearly to my mind.

Bear in mind all of us cannot give in the same way, but all of us have the capacity to give what we are willing and able to give. Many of us are fortunate to recognize the way we are influenced by the giving of others to us. We experience the impact of others who come into our lives and touch us. Some have the ability to make a permanent mark with their words, actions and especially good works. Others may leave an imprint that remains with us with negative feelings. Each time we are affected, the experience often tends to develop our own response to others.

Don’t you feel honored when someone gives a compliment to you? Remember how touched we are when an act of kindness is given with no ulterior motive. We all need praise and affirmation. We all need to know and be told we are valued and lovable. 

If we are fortunate, we have memories of our supportive parents, teachers or others who had a direct impact on our lives. This helped to establish a value system that can sustain us even today.

Many have not been so lucky and have struggled to attain recognition, love and understanding, sometimes never feeling lovable. Today, when we continue to deal with the stress of living, those basic values are there to come to our aid. The need to receive is evident. The ability to give is an unexpected gift to ourselves when we do for others.

Whether we give with our time, our works or our money, it is an immeasurable gift to someone. There is still time to be a giver and leave an imprint on those we many encounter each day on the path of life that we travel.

Linda Alessi, of Lebanon, is a regular contributing columnist. She writes about life in the golden years.

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