The Grateful Giver
"Give from the heart" is a frequently heard phrase when it comes to bestowing upon others. When our hearts are full of gratitude there's no harm in giving from the heart. However, there's an alternative method of giving that has the potential to be truly transformative; “giving from the brain”. Whilst this may not sound profound or enticing, there have been remarkable findings of brain scans that reveal that having a conscious sense of gratitude triggered a profound response within the prefrontal cortex, a key component of the brain's reward system.
Profound gratitude and giving share a core emotional connection. Gratitude is the deliberate and positive emotion experienced when one is thankful for something, whether tangible or intangible. Giving, conversely, is the act of bestowing something tangible or intangible to another without any expectation of reciprocation... and I mean “ANY.”
Although the relationship between gratitude and giving may appear straightforward, giving from a place of gratitude is a learned skill and it must be a conscious decision made with every attempt to give.
Often times societal pressures can make it difficult for individuals to give unreluctantly or freely without compulsion. Nevertheless, making a conscious decision to push back against such expectations and instead give from a place of gratitude can be life changing.
Consider, for example, the deep love and companionship provided by your beloved pet. If you feel grateful for the warmth and joy your pet has brought into your life, you might choose to express that gratitude through volunteer work at a local animal shelter or by donating money to support their mission.
This concept of gratitude and giving can be applied far beyond the unending love of your pet. The next time you decide to extend aid to someone who is homeless, instead of giving out of mere pity, offer your own kindness out of a genuine appreciation for the roof over your own head. But most importantly, bear in mind that the act of giving should never be about impressing others or seeking recognition.
Giving should be an expression and transformation of the gratitude that has taken root within you. It is through this gratitude that you now have the power to generate opportunities and happiness for others. Should you desire to make a noteworthy contribution towards medical research, consider doing so out of gratitude towards the brilliant scientists who dedicate their lives to a noble cause. Instead of using your donation as a mere display of wealth, let it be a meaningful gesture of appreciation for the tedious work being done to advance our understanding of health.
Giving from a place of gratitude has a powerful and far-reaching impact. Your act of kindness can generate a wave of positivity that extends well beyond the immediate recipient. It may even inspire others to embrace the spirit of gratitude and engage in their own acts of generosity.
While giving from the heart is a beautiful sentiment, giving from a place of gratitude can be even more transformative. Doing so enables you to forge deeper connections with others, enhances your sense of well-being, and generates a powerful chain reaction of generosity and gratitude. So, the next time you consider giving to others, reflect upon the things in your life for which you are most grateful and allow that sense of gratitude to guide your actions.