Off Broadway with Craig Convessor

March 4, 2012

On Giving

 

By CRAIG CONVESSOR

mcp blogger

 

I was reading the latest issue of Ode Magazine, titled Giving is Good, with several articles on the beneficial “side affects” of giving (as in, money, time, gifts, etc.). It’s good to be reminded. As Rabbi Rami says in one article, The Flip Side Of Getting, “Giving is what you do when you realize just how much you’re taking.” Neuroscientists, in their infinite patience in testing and probing, have found that those who donate money, specifically, activate the mesolimbic system, the reward system, along with the “feel-good” neurotransmitters. It can even be addictive! They speak of “helper’s high”, for heaven’s sake.

 

Rabbi Rami expands on his thought: “While I doubt it’s possible to live without giving, it is clearly impossible to live without taking. And if you understand the nature of taking, you will find giving completely natural.” What a wonderful concept to impart to our children!

 

Although, I’m “not from these parts,” I’ve lived in Mason County long enough to see its people’s generosity: through the numerous volunteering opportunities (Red Cross, hospital work, the schools, the list is long indeed); and benefits held for those needing help with medical bills; and the auctions and dinners, and much more. We are constantly and happily reminded of the many chances to give. There may be mean-spirited people in this county, but they should go to bed embarrassed: they are totally surrounded by the open-hearted.

 

Much of what we see in the world beyond our doors, shows the grittier, scrappier and sometimes seedier parts of human nature. (Witness the caucuses which consume each election year.) It sells. How boring the reports can be of those who give, time and energy, holding the fabric of their community together!

 

And despite the fact that most of the country’s problems are the result of greed and lack of spiritual grounding, I’d wager that once the neuroscientists were put to the task, they would find that greed and giving from the heart are mutually exclusive. Giving is the finger in the dike, while the politicians sweep up their messes.

 

So, friends and neighbors, just keep on doing what you do best. Let’s give the folks on top a dope slap: so much of what they say and do is based on air (hot mostly!) and we affect the course of their lives more than they do ours. In the end, the good we do in our community will have an unalterable effect on what happens “out there.”

 

BTW: A flea is more trouble to a jackass than a jackass is to a flea. (Chinese proverb)

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