Giving its own reward

By Jackie Jennings-Bates

Is it truly better to give than to receive?

I am not going to argue with this claim because the origin of the phrase is from Paul, quoting Jesus, “It’s more blessed to give than receive.” (Acts 20:35).

I am, however, willing to discuss it. Discussion seems to be going out like the dinosaurs in this age of fake news and entrenched opinions, enhanced by living in our own media bubble, that reinforces our beliefs.

We live in a self-centred world, fuelled by corporations that want our product loyalty and pander to our lack of self-fulfillment by convincing us that succumbing to our wants and desires will make us happy.

It has been found in many studies that this is just not true.

I think it is how you look at giving and receiving that is important. On a basic level you would consider it a linear, one-way transaction. I believe it is better to give than to receive because it is a circular event. When you give you cannot help but also receive. 

This year, Mark and I have given time. We are both members of Kaslo Search and Rescue. I joined a little over a year ago and it had been a long time since I worked with maps, ropes and a compass.

I have given quite a lot of time outside of full time work. It took all weekend for six weeks to qualify, plus an overnight survival camp out mid November. Then, we practise once a week.

This year, we have had more calls than ever before, more than 60 already. Of course, they usually happen just as you are about to settle down to a nice dinner or to have a nap on the beach. They often involve stress, exhaustion, cold, hunger, sometimes tedium and very late nights.

That may seem a lot to give, but it is not a one-way transaction. I have learned so much about life. Now, I know what a quad can actually do, how to administer first aid in the wilderness and how to work as a slick team. I have visited wonderful new trails, rappelled again and one day I am sure I will get a ride on a helicopter.

However the biggest serendipity is the honour of getting to work beside and be accepted by a group of experienced folks who love the mountains and are dedicated to helping people who find themselves in trouble.

To me that is a fair exchange. I am pretty certain that Jesus knew that when he gave his advice. 

I have talked about giving time, but here are some other things you can use as tools of generosity:

  • Attention
  • Praise
  • Appreciation
  • Benefit of the doubt.

That inner voice can be a constant source of worry, negativity and criticism, so drown it out by focusing outwards and have fun seeing what you can accomplish.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.


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About the Author

Mark has been an entrepreneur for more than 40 years. His experience spans many commercial sectors and aspects of business.

He was one of the youngest people to be appointed as a Fellow of the prestigious Institute of Sales and Marketing Management before he left the U.K. in 1988.

His column focuses on ways we can improve on success in our lives. Whether it is business, relationships, or health, Mark has a well-rounded perspective on how to stay focused for growth and development.

His influences come from the various travels he undertakes as an adventurer, philanthropist and keynote speaker. More information can be found on Mark at his website www.markjenningsbates.com

He is a Venture Partner with www.DutchOracle.com a global Alternative Investment company.

Mark Jennings-Bates:
[email protected]

Photo credit: www.SteveAustin.ca 

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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