3. Giving. “The purpose of life is to discover your gift. The meaning of life is to give your gift away.” (David Viscott) What is your gift to give?
It's interesting to ponder this prompt on the heels of a Christmas that was very small from a gift perspective. I've stopped myself, several times, from apologizing to various people for not being able to give more. I've reminded myself that I gave what I could, and that there are more ways...and more days...to give.
I think that the greatest gift that I can give (and do try to give) is empathy. I try my best to listen, to understand, and to ask "what can I do to help?" Barb has often asked me "what can I carry for you?" during times that I am struggling. That simple question, wrapped in empathy, is the most thoughtful gift.
In 2014, I hope to be able to offer empathy in times of celebration as often as times of struggle. Does that make sense? By definition, empathy is the "vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, and attitudes of another." How cool is it to think about making the effort to vicariously experience joy as well as sorrow?