In 1766, the world was introduced to the word “rec-i-proc-i-ty”. Reciprocity has known synonyms such as cooperation, exchange, mutuality, or interchange. The short definition can be summed up in two words, “giving back.” In this edition of D-mars, the emphasis has been placed on the essentials of giving back. I am a strong advocate of reciprocity and it is incumbent upon everyone to understand that there is true value in helping others and giving back. In fact, many of you who will read this article are able to read because someone in your past (home, school, etc.) decided to reach out and help you. He or she took the time to teach the rudiments of discerning the alphabet, interpreting symbols, and reading for understanding and comprehension. It was not long before you mastered it and could understand the most complicated literature. Some of us decided that it was simply enough to learn the skill while others chose to pursue a career at helping others begin their reading journey. We call refer to those individuals as teachers.
People oftentimes approach me after I give a speech or present a training session and ask me do I minister or preach at a church. I am always flattered; however, my typical response is two-fold and centered on the two types of ministers in the world, ministers by profession and influence. In either case, we are all ministers. Likewise, we are all teachers because we have an influence (positive or negative) on everyone we come in contact with on a moment-by-moment basis. Susan Skog once wrote:
“There’s a deep wave of grassroots giving back sweeping the country. A surge of people across all age groups is volunteering like never before. But giving back doesn’t mean that you don’t get anything in return. Helping others reach for a new day rejuvenates us in ways that another margarita-soaked vacation, more stuff, a fatter resume, or a supersized house can’t begin to. We want to feel useful. We want to find meaning. We want to feel this alive and on fire with possibility.”
Here are three simple ways you can give back from finding your true calling to boosting your overall sense of joy:
1. Join a prayer group — prayer is an essential component of our existences as well as our destiny. Intercessory prayer has been the bedrock of our salvation and our country’s freedom, so why not fall on bended knees for someone else (in season and out of season). Do not just say I am going to pray for Brother John Doe or Sister Jan Doe…take the time to pray without delay. In these uncertain times, we need to say more than God bless you!
2. Iron up — some people have gone further than they thought they could because someone else thought they could, so reach out and help another person attain a career goal or objective. King Solomon once wrote, “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” (KJV)
3. Be creative — maybe you have a relative who is interested in a certain academic area, rather than just getting them a bathrobe or slippers, get them information and possibly tickets to a speaker that is coming to town. Compliment your neighbor on a “yard-well-done”…send a hand written note (text messages and emails do not count) to an employee who completed the project on time and under budget.
We do not need a season to begin giving back because if you have the opportunity to get up in the morning, then that is reason enough because when you do it unto the least of them, you are really doing it unto God…so, have fun giving back because one day someone will give back to you!