I have a few friends who wonder why people don’t appreciate the things they have done for them; most times they attribute the ingratitude to human wickedness. Sometimes they are correct but for some occasions that I am aware of, they are flat-out wrong.
The challenge for them, and for a lot of people, is the understanding of the difference between what “giving” and “sacrificial giving” mean. I have a friend, and I am sure that most of us do, who give only when it is convenient. This individual will not go an extra mile for anyone yet gives from the heart. Again, I have another friend who gives when it is convenient and when it is not.
My definition of “giving” is not limited to money or material things. In dire times, I have seen people give “listening ears” that brought bigger relief than money. People give effort, service, ideas, times etc. Giving is so much more than materials.
Whenever we give, we offer our things (materials, time, skills etc) to others for free or at a very reduced rate. A lot of times, people give out of abundance or convenience. Note: no matter what form “giving” takes, be it out of convenience or abundance, it is a great thing. It must always be appreciated and encouraged.
Beyond “giving”, there is “sacrificial giving”. Just as previously described, it must not be mentally limited to money and materials. It is that “giving” a person does that either costs you, inconveniences you or meets a need exactly when the other individual needs it. The timing of the need and the resultant giving at that exact time is what makes sacrificial giving exceptional. Imagine a friend that needs to talk to someone immediately; he or she needs a shoulder to lean on right away but you are also going through your trials and tribulations; you know that your friend’s case is more critical and you ignore your pains at that moment to lend them that needed hand; that’s sacrificial giving.
There are people who volunteer to go and serve in crisis areas, not for the money or reward, when they could be somewhere else enjoying themselves. They leave everything because humanity needs a hand and they are willing to offer theirs. Some of them may not even be religious; all they have is Love in their hearts. That’s sacrificial. I know an individual who is always willing to help but at his own time and pace; that is good but not great.
To my friends who wonder why people are not “head over heels” for the gifts they have offered to them, I will say take heart. Your giving is not exactly because of the people who received them but because of the love you have in your heart.
The second thing I will say is that humans generally appreciate sacrificial giving more than regular giving. The amount of gratitude that the former attracts is much more than the latter. You don’t have to hurt yourself to please another individual but you must ensure to consider their situation, precarious or dire, before concluding that “you cannot disconsolate yourself” at that particular point in time.
The difference between “giving” and “sacrificial giving” is the amount of Love we have in our hearts; for an individual to do either, they must have Love for humanity but the latter require much bigger Love than the former. The golden questions that can tip a person from “giving” to “sacrificial giving” is: if I was on the other side, what would I want the giver to do? How urgently would I want them to attend to me? The answer to these questions can be the difference.