The gifts you GIVE are what help you make a life

“Many of us tend to believe that our lives are the only ones burdened with the trials and tribulations of life. Some of us are so caught up in a world of materials and social popularity that we forget about what’s truly important, and how grateful we should be every morning we’re able to start a new day with few obstructions.” C. Ruvere, The View from Here

In January of 2013, I wrote a post about an inspiring woman named Jeannine Walston – the daughter of a former co-worker I had the great pleasure of working with for the better part of a year.

Sadly, her life has been anything but void of obstructions. Her personal cancer story beginning back in 1998, and continuing today – having recently undergone a third awake brain surgery – an 8 hour ordeal – at UCLA. Her brother recently reported via her website: “I am thrilled to tell you that Jeannine is doing extremely well!”

News of her recent surgery came at an interesting time for me.

You see it’s during this time of year that I find myself struggling with the material gift giving process that has become so engrained in society. Gifts that eventually fall into the category of “forgettable” – with no sincerity or meaning to back them up. But when I found out that members of Jeannine’s family were collecting donations to help offset the cost of her recent surgery, suddenly I found myself understanding what true gift-giving is all about.

Many of us are very fortunate, and yet we hoard that good fortune all to ourselves. We rarely share our blessings with those who are struggling or less fortunate than we are – coming up with reasons to justify our lack of assistance and compassion.

But for the first time in a long time, I’m very happy with the gift I was able to give. It has nothing to do with ego or a hero complex, but rather in knowing that I’ve shared my blessings with someone who can truly benefit from them.

My life has been filled with so many good fortunes – what kind of person would I be if I couldn’t share a little of that with someone who needs it? For as Winston Churchill once remarked, “You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give.”