A Helping Hand

Whenever I travel with my sons (now aged 4 and 5), I have the unique pleasure of watching them assist the bell hop with the luggage cart. The spirit of service is strong with them as it is with most children of their age and I have yet to see a bell hop refuse their help or fail to issue a kind word of thanks for the unbidden assistance.

Perhaps the only thing more wonderful than watching one person help another without expectation of return is to see the recipient receive it graciously. The spirit of appreciation is powerful and inspiring!

Learning to give and receive in a balanced matter is fundamental to a generative and meaningful life. Children must be taught the principles of giving and receiving slowly, but surely, though I would caution the eager parent not to start the training too early.

Children up to the age of three or four are naturally self-centered. If properly encompassed and nourished with sufficient love and truth (more through parental representation than anything), they will naturally mature out of their self-centered state as their world expands.

Forcing a child to do anything before he has the wherewithal to meet what is being asked of him can be detrimental. Children can and rightly should be pushed along at key points in their development but as with everything in life, timing is important.

One of my greatest delights is to watch my own sons and many other children I’ve been privileged to work with over the years reveal an increasing scope of the spirit of service to the world over which they have dominion. That’s the whole point of growing up, isn’t it!?!

As you celebrate this holiday season no matter what your faith may be, remember that wise and generous giving and gracious and appreciative receiving are the fundamental building blocks of a life worth living.

Happy Holidays!

13 thoughts on “A Helping Hand

  1. strawberryfields

    I really like your new format.
    I agree, learning to give and receive is essential for happiness. Not just learning to give the 10% that seems to be expected but understanding that giving and receiving is a part of every life, every day, every relationship. It is what creates a full, shared and loving life. When I see lonely, fearful or even angry people I know they probably haven’t truly experienced this aspect of living. Giving and receiving without keeping score is as natural as breathing.
    Happy holidays to you and yours.


  2. Kolya

    Happy Holidays! Giving and receiving is fundamental to living a fulfilling life. Although the holidays tend to remind us of this, it really should be central to who we are and what e do each day of the year.


  3. Kai

    Happy Holidays to you Gregg! I agree that it IS the point of growing up and your blog has been a great inspiration for remembering that spirit every day when I teach my classes. Thank you!!!


  4. DeeDee Miller

    Very cute picture!! Mark and I wish your family the best and we look forward to your blog posts in the new year. Our whole family has enjoyed them.


  5. Colin

    A great, germane topic for Christmas day. You see people that “catch the bug” for service around the holiday season, but hen forget about it the rest of the year. They see it as something that they can’t keep up with for an entire year. However, helping others (if done intelligently), will provide an unequaled fuel for personal progress in anyone’s life. Having issues in your life? Helping others is a great way to break out of self destructive myopia. I’m glad that there are people that are taking responsibility to teach their children at the appropriate age. Merry Christmas to you and yours!


  6. Joshua

    Greatly appreciate the Spirit you reveal!
    Have a wonderful holiday, and thanks for the guiding influence!
    Love to you, your sons, and your wife!


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