5 Lessons About Giving From a Man I Never Knew

Good Intentions Are Only Thoughts.
“It’s not how much we give but how
much love we put into giving.”

– Mother Teresa

When I was young, I loved to listen to stories. I would urge my mother to tell me about my maternal grandfather, who went to be with God long before I was born.

She told me how my grandfather had been a wealthy man in the late 1930s. He owned a few trishaw (a bicycle with a sidecar that’s powered by the cyclist) companies and rented out his numerous trishaws to generate a passive income.

Grandfather was unfortunately quite naive and trusted his employees to take care of his affairs. A lack of business acumen led him to be swindled out of his fortune and businesses by his so called “trusted” associates.

Long story short, grandfather lost all his financial assets and hit rock bottom. He was living with his aged parents, wife and four young children and had to support them as a sole breadwinner. In that darkest period of desperation, he had no choice but to earn a living by being a trishaw rider with the only trishaw he had left.

Regina'S GrandparentsHe may not have been a shrewd businessman, but he was a kind, giving and a caring person. Even as his wealth dwindled, he often gave free trishaw rides to those who were less fortunate. He even used the little money he earned to buy food and milk for poor families with young kids. He had an abundance mindset and always kept on giving no matter what his situation.

Even when he was no longer able to replace his torn and worn out shoes and clothing, his main concern was always to help others.

Though I did not have the privilege of meeting my grandfather, his giving nature has touched and influenced my life. He may not have been financially rich, but I am proud of the priceless treasures that lay within his heart.

My grandfather taught me some simple yet important life lessons through his kind, gracious deeds.

1. Make a positive difference

There is always something that we could be giving (not necessarily in a monetary form). We can add value and make a difference through small acts such as lending a helping hand to those in need, expressing appreciation for the kindness of a friend, providing comfort to the ill, or caring for the elderly and those less fortunate than ourselves.

2. Have an abundance mind set

Each of us possesses one of two mind-sets: scarcity or abundance.

People with a scarcity mind-set believe that there’s only so much to go around. They feel the need to scrape, hold on tightly to everything they have and protect it at all costs.

People with an abundance mind-set believe there is always enough to go around. They love sharing, love giving and love caring. If they have money, they may enjoy giving some to those who are needy; they believe they can always make more. If they have food, they might share with those who are hungry; they believe their blessings will be multiplied.

Personally, I believe that you get from life what you expect. You can hoard what you have and receive no more. Or you can give what you have, and be rewarded with abundance. Your attitude makes all the difference.

3. Gain insight by being a good listener

I have learned that it is not only important to lend your ears, but effective listening requires us to ask significant questions. I would have missed the opportunity to learn about my grandfather had I not ask my mother to share her father’s stories. This gave me an opportunity to learn about kindness and the importance of compassion from a man who lived it his entire life.

Being a good listener serves two purposes: to connect with people and to learn from them. It’s a win-win situation.

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4. Do not worry what others think

My grandfather wasn’t concerned what others thought of his plain, simple clothing and worn out shoes. He understood that the opinion of others will not make you happy and what truly matters is that your heart is full of love and compassion.Show?Id=Vwwk9Hapjt4&Amp;Bids=323058

5. Action speaks louder than words

My mother also shared that my grandfather was a man of few words. He never sought credit or attention for the kind deeds he gave. His kindness was never for personal gain, but for the satisfaction of seeing someone walk away a little happier. He did not talk much but his actions always equated to love.

I am grateful that my mother shared my grandfather’s stories. As I learned more about him, I felt inspired to do my best to make him proud. I learned what it meant to give unconditionally, with no expectation of reward.

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Regina ChoAuthor: Regina Cho, reginacho.com
Regina is passionate about helping people and making a positive difference in serving the community. As a career coach for over a decade, she works with individuals with diverse employment backgrounds and those in career transition. She provides career guidance with a focus on self discovery and online entrepreneurship. As a volunteer Youth Mentor, Regina guides and provides career coaching to teenagers at a community Student Advisory Centre.

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