There’s usually at least one library book in my house.
Some, say, every Lisa Scottoline thriller ever, I devour in a single sitting. Others, nonfiction on the should-read list, gather dust until an overdue notice pings on my phone.
I’m thrilled to be savoring my current library book, Robin Wall Kimmerer’s Braiding Sweetgrass.
After waves of FOMO when it seemed everyone I knew was reading it not long ago, I’m grateful that a Facebook connection I barely know posted a link that led me to check it out from the library last week. Since I’ve discovered it’s the kind of book that calls for multiple readings and notes in the margins, I ordered a copy as a gift to myself.
May all my holiday shopping be so ease-filled, since, no matter the positive energy and self-coaching I bring to the task, finding great gifts for family, friends, the yet-unknown recipient of the gift I bring to the Yankee Swap remains stressful.
Longing for Gifts
A great longing is upon us, to live in a world made of gifts.
I agree with Kimmerer, and think she would agree that we are a part of the world that is made of gifts. Gifts that serve others, as well as ourselves, when we share them.
Imagine the joy that would replace the longing in a world where we both embrace and share our values, strengths, and priorities as gifts.
- Gifts that come naturally to us and that energize us.
- Gifts that serve others and for which the world hungers.
Imagine the longing if we don’t share our gifts.
- How bleak the world would be if people whose natural ways of being in the world include kindness or integrity or social intelligence refused to embrace and share those values.
- How lost we would be if people who are naturally deliberative could only make snap decisions or people who are great at setting plans in motion never got to help to make things happen or future-minded people weren’t allowed to inspire others with their vision.
- How frustrated and miserable would you be if you could never pursue your priorities, the things that matter to you most?
Know, Grow, Share
I’m not suggesting we do away with giving physical gifts, or stop reading library books or giving books as gifts.
I am proposing that we gift ourselves, and the world, by knowing, growing, and using our values and strengths and by living in ways that are aligned with our priorities.
Try this to get started:
- Figure out your values, ways of being that energize you, and notice how your feel when you live in alignment with them.
- Notice and own your strengths and celebrate the ways they help you make a difference in the world.
- Decide how you want to spend the ultimate nonrenewable resource, your time, and take one tiny step to honor your priorities.
To paraphrase Kimmerer, what else can we give but something of ourselves?
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