Saturday, October 23, 2010

Curious about a Gift: Do Your Share Yours with Others? What Gift Do You Give Away Consistently?

Definition of Gift: Anything given; anything voluntarily transferred by one person to another without compensation; a present; an offering. The act, right, or power of giving or bestowing. A preeminent and special talent or aptitude; power; faculty; as, the gift of wit; a gift for speaking.

Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.” – Buddha, Indian leader

Writing is an extreme privilege but it's also a gift. It's a gift to yourself and it's a gift of giving a story to someone.” - Amy Tan, American novelist

I chose “gift” for this week’s blog theme for a couple of reasons. First, today I finished reading Seth Godin’s newest book, Linchpin: Are You Indispensible? Godin is not only one of my favorite writers, he is also one of my favorite thinkers. He writes about ideas that make me think on a different plane and level. In this book, he talks a great deal about the importance of gifts created by the “artist.” And, it isn’t our standard interpretation of an artist.

Godin’s artist – of which he is definitely one – is the linchpin who creates a multitude of “gifts.” They are new ideas, writings, presentations, approaches, teachings – not rules, maps and/or manuals on how to do something. We give them freely, not expecting any gifts in return. They can even be a friendly smile, the warmth of listening and responding, helping with a problem, a special hand-written note, appreciation and understanding. Use your imagination.

My second reason for picking “gift” is that my eldest daughter has a birthday on November 1st. Last year I visited her and her husband in Hawaii to celebrate. It was more of a gift for me, I think. A wonderful reunion and exciting journey! This topic has brought extra joy because of the memories. But also the fun of picking quotations from the more than 14 loaded pages. The quotations were positive, uplifting, thought provoking and fun.

So, let’s get started:

  • If you can give your child only one gift, let it be enthusiasm.” - Bruce Barton, American author
  • That's the goal, to survive your gift.” - Itzhak Perlman, Israeli musician
  • Having good health, being able to breathe and be happy, that's one of the most beautiful gifts. On top of that, I have the gift to play music and make people happy through that. I'm just telling you from my heart, I'm so in love with life.” - Roy Ayers, English musician
  • I believe that we are here for each other, not against each other. Everything comes from an understanding that you are a gift in my life - whoever you are, whatever our differences.” - John Denver, American musician
  • Books! I dunno if I ever told you this, but books are the greatest gift one person can give another.” – Bono, Irish musician
  • For my confirmation, I didn't get a watch and my first pair of long pants, like most Lutheran boys. I got a telescope. My mother thought it would make the best gift.” - Wernher von Braun, German scientist
  • The capacity for delight is the gift of paying attention.” - Julia Margaret Cameron, British photographer

And, some more:

  • When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than any talent for abstract, positive thinking.” - Albert Einstein, German physicist
  • Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more.” - Tony Robbins, American motivator
  • We've got this gift of love, but love is like a precious plant. You can't just accept it and leave it in the cupboard or just think it's going to get on by itself. You've got to keep watering it. You've got to really look after it and nurture it.” - John Lennon, English musician
  • I think, at a child's birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift should be curiosity.” - Eleanor Roosevelt, American First Lady
  • If I were given the opportunity to present a gift to the next generation, it would be the ability for each individual to learn to laugh at himself.” - Charles M. Schulz, American cartoonist
  • The great gift of human beings is that we have the power of empathy.” - Meryl Streep, American actress
  • What if you gave someone a gift, and they neglected to thank you for it - would you be likely to give them another? Life is the same way. In order to attract more of the blessings that life has to offer, you must truly appreciate what you already have.” - Ralph Marston, American athlete

And three more for fun and because I love them:

You can do anything you think you can. This knowledge is literally the gift of the gods, for through it you can solve every human problem. It should make of you an incurable optimist. It is the open door.” - Robert Collier, American publisher

My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.” - Jim Valvano, American coach

I know a man who doesn't pay to have his trash taken out. How does he get rid of his trash? He gift wraps it, and puts in into an unlocked car.” - Henny Youngman, American comedian

So, what about you? I do believe that there is genius in all of us, and we can use it to create special gifts for everyone. Do, let me hear from you. It will be your gift to me.