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Those Special Givers

Nov 13, 2016 | Editorial

giving-banner-1Who are they? “Special givers” (let’s call them “givers”) give for the sake of giving. Let’s recognize them. They can be found anywhere, but they are not common. Presenting in all ages, sizes, colors, religions, at all incomes, and at all levels of education. And I say to these special people: “Thank you, you make the world a better place.”

Don’t get me wrong. Most people do give to show love, affection, thanks, or maybe as a special act of kindness. And most do feel good about acts of giving, however, it seems that some folks give obligatorily, perhaps returning a favor or return gift-giving.

Givers are happy people because they derive joy from giving and bringing joy to others. They look for opportunities to give and they find opportunity at every corner. Since they bring so much happiness and joy, givers simply stay happy most of the time. What do they give?

They give smiles, hope, words of encouragement and compliments. Or they might give their time and talent by volunteering, or they give money to or actual gifts to others. Giving people smile a lot.

Givers don’t ask for much—they simply have more fun in giving than in receiving. Partly because givers reap what they sow, and partly because they don’t need many material things, they generally don’t find themselves in need. They know that they will be cared for. True givers do not ask to be identified as givers because they do not need recognition; the intrinsic pleasure of giving is plenty reward.

I’m not sure why some people become givers. Maybe you know why. We often see young children brimming with joy at giving their mother the gift of a pretty stone or dandelion. Some of those children will continue through their lives to be true givers, but most will not. Is giving like imagination—something we lose with age? True givers aren’t necessarily treated well as children or as adults. Nonetheless they continue giving.

I encourage all of us to notice these people and appreciate them. I will never forget, long ago I admired a friend’s mother’s “Gobles High School” sweatshirt (Gobles is a small 4- corners farm town in southwest Michigan). It wasn’t too cold, and she also wore a t-shirt, so she peeled off the sweatshirt and said, “Here, you have it.” She had given me the proverbial shirt off her back, laughing while she did it. Although I protested, she wouldn’t take, “No,” for an answer. Ever since then, I have wanted to give more.

Giving is contagious, isn’t it? When we see these happy people who thrive on helping others, generating good will and happiness, doesn’t it make us think, “I wonder what I could give?” Giving people have lots of fun giving– you can see it in their eyes—giving joy produces joy. It’s a good situation when people have fun making others’ lives better. Can you imagine what the world would be like if everyone shared the giving trait?

The business of medicine is a lesson in people. We see all sorts of people. Every day I am blessed to be surrounded by people who give, and I notice them. I see patients holding the door for other patients, I see families and friends bringing my patients for their office visits, sometimes carrying them into the exam rooms and onto tables. I have seen legions of family caring for sick and elderly family, against all odds, in their homes. Some of those patients at home require around-the- clock, exhausting care by giving family members. I see front desk people listening to, and well-wishing patients. I see nurses helping hobbled patients get back out to their cars. It makes me happy, and it makes me proud to be part of that office team. I see ministers visiting church members in the hospitals at night, praying with patients to give them hope and courage. I see parents loving and giving children warmth and security.

Some of the best things in life are founded in giving: long, happy marriages, wonderful relationships, strong families, nourishing church families, the great, true charities and organizations. Giving promotes bonds of mutual love and respect.

Please join me in thanking all of those giving people whom we are so fortunate to see and to have in our lives. Let’s be like them.

Mom, 1931-2014

Mom, 1931-2014

Dr. KihmJohn T Kihm, MD practices concierge internal medicine in Durham, NC. Feel free to share this news blog.

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Priority Medicine
John. T. Kihm, M.D., F.A.C.P.

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