Giving is Living
Best selling Author, Journalist and Philantropist
-GIVING IS LIVING-
Morrie was dying. We came to visit by his side. Family. Friends. Former students.
Not everyone was so comfortable. Death can make you squeamish. Many visitors, I noticed, came with a plan. They were going to tell happy stories, share jokes, show photos. They’d go into Morrie’s office, where he lay motionless in a long chair. The door will shut. And an hour later they’d emerge tears.
But they were crying about… Their job, Their divorce, Their issues.
“I went in to cheer him up,” they’d say, sniffing, “but he started asking me about my life and how my problems and, next thing I know, I was bawling.”
I watched this happen so many times that finally I went to Morrie and I said, “I don’t get it. You’re the one dying from ALS, this awful, debilitating disease. If ever everyone has finally earned the right to say, ‘Let’s not talk about your problem, let’s talk about my problem,’ it’s you!”
He looked at me sadly.
“Mitch,” he whispered, “why would I ever take like that? Taking just reminds me that I’m dying.” He smiled. “Giving makes me feel like I’m living.”
Giving makes me feel like I’m living.
It is a profound little sentence.
And some of the best advice I’ve ever received.
Our culture, of course tell us opposite. The more you take, the more alive you are. The more money in your bank account, cars in your garage, or shoes in your closet, the more you are winning the game.
But think about your final moments in this world, like the one that Morrie endured. At the most crucial time, when you are clinging to life, all that you own will be of no use to you. What purpose will a sports car serve at the point? Jewelry? A big screen TV? Chances are that stuff won’t even be in the room.
All that will be matter, as the precious point, is that the people you love you are by your side, right? Well the people who love you will likely the one to whom give you time. The one who give you warmth and affection. When you most want to feel alive, the things you gave will be the things the return.
Try it sometime-maybe the next time you depressed or blue. Maybe the next time taking something or achieving status doesn’t make you happy as you thought it would. Instead, go someplace where you’re needed-talk to struggling friend, cheer up someone in a hospital, scoop potatoes at a soup kitchen. You’ll be surprised how energized you feel you feel afterward, how your blues may quietly disappear when you see someone who has it worse.
And if, if your way out, you get the small tingle in your stomach when those people whisper “Thank you?”
That’s being alive.
And it comes from giving, not taking.
Morrie, once again, had it right.
Adapted from book:
“The more we giving until the last breath, the more we living “