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Life's Lessons: Selfless Giving---Just What We Need Now

Patricia is someone whose life is centered around family. Each day is one more opportunity to show my loved ones how much they mean to me.

Every day, we all try to teach our children to give unselfishly

Teaching them by how we live....

Teaching them by how we live....

Selfless Giving

One of the purest kinds of love, I believe, is selfless giving. Giving with no expectation of or desire for anything in return. How powerful is that?


My Momma taught us from our earliest years to give without expecting anything in return.

She gave and gave of herself, her wisdom, her patience, the bounty of our vegetable and fruit gardens, the explosion of gorgeous plants and flowers in our yards wherever we lived.

It costs nothing to be a selfless giver. It is really a way to live. Each day to reach across in some small way and touch a life...a smile, a nod, opening a door, picking up a dropped parcel, some small acknowledgment that another is on the planet.

Include your family in your willingness to give of yourself. Let this giving begin in your home.

A whole lot of happy...

I had to excuse myself to pass across the wall. As I passed by I told them that this what just what we needed right now---a whole lot of happy for 200 children. A sparkle could be seen in their eyes as they smiled modestly. Soon two hundred excited children entered the store carrying small red bags filled with candy. They joined the Officer who would navigate through the store with them and off they went to find whatever it was they were dreaming of that morning.

I continued to shop and was aware of the others in the store as I am usually am. When I went up to check out, there were eight lanes dedicated to those who had come with a Police Officer that morning. Officers, children, and the shopping carts found a way to a check out line and soon were headed out to the parking lot. Many shiny new bicycles could be seen dangling over the edge of a shopping cart.

Love Knows No Boundaries

lifes-lessons-what-we-need-now

Let the shopping begin...



As soon as I entered the store. I had to ask why they were there. The young girl who greeted me said, " O, it’s Shop with a Cop Day," she chirped "It begins at 9 o'clock." It was 8:45 so I knew if I needed anything from the toy section I needed to go there quickly. As it happened I did have to go there for my daughter, in search of a tiny swimming pool to go with a new doll house she and her husband are making for a niece. I got out of there just before the shopping began.

I had heard of this, had seen it on television, but had never seen the sea of officers and felt the wave of love that was passing through the air.

Soon the hands of the clock flipped around to nine o'clock. I made my way to the back of the store to the craft section and there before me was a wall of police officers each with a shopping cart waiting in a seemingly never ending line that snaked around past shoes, baby clothes, toddler clothes,and swung around to the food section.

What a Message About Lovin'

How the children were chosen

"This event got its start six years ago during a convesation between the Walmart store manager and Starke police Capt. Barry Warren.

Capt. Warren found 34 elementary school children who had good grades, good attendance and good attitudes and who came from families that might need some extra help over the holidays. Warren also arranged for some additional donations from the community with the goal of having $100 to spend on each child. Since the first year, Warren has raised funds year-round for the event, and this year 153 children were able to participate."

Source: Gainesville.com in the December 15, 2010, event. The postings for this year's event have not been posted as of this writing. Due to privacy issues, I did not feel that photographing the event would be in the best interest of those involved.

Find the dawn in each new day.

It is always darkest before the dawn is a saying I have heard for as long as I can remember. I never really thought about what it meant because the words need no explanation. Nowhere could I find the source of this quote but it is listed as a proverb in most locations which would seem appropriate

And there has been even darkness for many lifetimes in the last century...

So certainly the dawning is at hand. Better yet, we must find the dawn in each day.

A gift to you......this song shared by children

Let us make one point, that we meet each other with a smile, when it is difficult to smile. Smile at each other, make time for each other in your family.

— Mother Teresa

That was Then

Here it is not that many years later and our police forces are being refunded. I shake my head as I write these words. So much had happened since I originally wrote this article. While there are some police officers who have abused their authority, most really do put themselves on the line for us every day. "What will you do when you need help one day from a law man and none can come to you? Will children who are struggling miss out on an opportunity such as the one afforded to those mentioned in this article? Will chaos reign?" are just a few questions I ponder.

Our children need to learn of selfless giving...

lifes-lessons-what-we-need-now

Give and ask nothing in return

What we need now is this same kind of selfless giving across the board. Everyone can do it. It is not about economics. It is about caring about each other.Caring enough to brighten the day for someone else even if our day has not gone exactly how we planned it. You are not giving some thing----you are giving of yourself...speaking listening, helping.Most of the gifts you are not things you can hold in your hand. And, it is quite possible they will be much more meaningful, much more well received because you gave of yourself in some way.

Yesterday when I was out, I experienced a type of this selfless giving.

I arrived at a rural Walmart early I thought, it was 815. When I pulled in the parking lot it was full already. Wow. I thought. It is Tuesday morning and the parking lot is full they must be giving things away today. Everyone has skipped work. I parked my car and got out. And then I saw a very large group police officers, men and women, some in uniforms, some not. All gathered in front of one set of doors. All of them were engaged in happy bantering of one sort or another.

Selfless giving

Most of these involve TIME...selfless giving does ask something of us. We do have to go out of our way to be helpful and giving to others.

HowEndless possibilities

Time

Volunteer

Donate

Clothing and food

Share

Establish a carpool and babysitting pool

Tutor

Offer to tutor a few neighborhood children in reading or math

Connecting on a personal level...

My shopping too was now complete so I checked out and went to the parking lot. There, once again, it was filled with Officers who were very merry indeed. Alongside of them were children who were bubbling over with excitement at the expectation of going home with their early Christmas gifts.

I wondered of course how many baskets contained some special treasure for a family member. One little boy had been trying to decide which pair of pajamas to get for his little brother: Cars or Toy Story as I had rushed by with my cart. The Officer with him was trying to help.
"He's about this tall," the small child said, holding his hand up next to his shoulder. The Officer smiled and said, "Let's see what we can find."

And, so it went.Two souls were connecting that mornin on a personal level even if for a moment. Who knows how life changing this very act may be. Perhaps one day those who were on the receiving end of this blessing will do it for another. Goodness begets goodness..

A simple message

As I drove home from a nearby town today, I came up behind a car that had a sign in the window that makes my point for me very well. The sign was made from a long board and on in it painted with white paint were the words

LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

That was all it said. And, it was enough. That is what we need. To love one another enough to give in a selfless manner. Such simple words that carry so much weight. It costs nothing to do so. Imagine if each one of us did this.


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Patricia Scott

Comments

Yvonne Spence from UK on December 22, 2012:

This is a lovely hub for Christmas or any time of year. Such lovely sentiments and so heart-warming and encouraging.

Patricia Scott (author) from North Central Florida on December 22, 2012:

Good morning...Yes, kids need to see our police officers as PEOPLE too. It is such a wonderful way for lives to connect especially at this wondrous time of the year.

I hope that you and your family have a lovely Christmas. Sending Angels to each of you :)

Patricia Scott (author) from North Central Florida on December 22, 2012:

Good morning...Yes, kids need to see our police officers as PEOPLE too. It is such a wonderful way for lives to connect especially at this wondrous time of the year.

I hope that you and your family have a lovely Christmas. Sending Angels to each of you :)

Sheila Brown from Southern Oklahoma on December 22, 2012:

"Shop with a Cop" is really a wonderful thing. Our town also does this every year. Not only does is show selfless giving and children get gifts they otherwise would not get, but it shows them that "cops" are people too. Sometimes little children are brought up think the cops are the bad guys. This lets the children know that cops are fathers and brothers and uncle, who have families too. It is just an all around wonderful event!

Here is hoping you have a very Merry Christmas! :)

Patricia Scott (author) from North Central Florida on December 20, 2012:

Hi MH

I am so not surprised that you are involved in those giving projects. You give so much of yourself to your writing...and that is a type of giving that asks so much of you as it comes from your heart. Right here on HP, I know there are so many who give and give in the knowledge that someone's day will be a little brighter beccause of it. So glad to see you ....I hope you are feeling better ...take care of you.

Sending you some Angels to help you feel stronger....:) ps

Patricia Scott (author) from North Central Florida on December 20, 2012:

Hi MH

I am so not surprised that you are involved in those giving projects. You give so much of yourself to your writing...and that is a type of giving that asks so much of you as it comes from your heart. Right here on HP, I know there are so many who give and give in the knowledge that someone's day will be a little brighter beccause of it. So glad to see you ....I hope you are feeling better ...take care of you.

Sending you some Angels to help you feel stronger....:) ps

Martin Kloess from San Francisco on December 20, 2012:

Love the video. If I had not fallen ill, Toys for Tots would be finished. Just before New Year I would be attending the 2013 planning meeting to raise funds for the Shrine Children's hospital. Volunteer...?

Patricia Scott (author) from North Central Florida on December 20, 2012:

Hi drbj....It was very moving. It was a tiny town in a rural area...and it was so filled with the spirit of Christmas. Who could ask for more? Children had a special day at this most joyous time. of theyear. and since then I have read over and over of generous giving like tthis. In Indiana thee were about 168 families who had packages delivered by members of the community who had joined together to share Christmas joy. They even delivered live Christmas trees to them and cut the bases off the trees too. Food banks in the area where I live had been filling up and sometimes in years past there have been pleas for more food as the donations were down.

Sending you Angels and joy for this Christmas. :) ps

Patricia Scott (author) from North Central Florida on December 20, 2012:

Hi drbj....It was very moving. It was a tiny town in a rural area...and it was so filled with the spirit of Christmas. Who could ask for more? Children had a special day at this most joyous time. of theyear. and since then I have read over and over of generous giving like tthis. In Indiana thee were about 168 families who had packages delivered by members of the community who had joined together to share Christmas joy. They even delivered live Christmas trees to them and cut the bases off the trees too. Food banks in the area where I live had been filling up and sometimes in years past there have been pleas for more food as the donations were down.

Sending you Angels and joy for this Christmas. :) ps

drbj and sherry from south Florida on December 20, 2012:

What a wonderful tradition this could become, ps. The retail community and the police force joining together to make Christmas special for children who might not get gifts otherwise. Thanks for sharing this positive, feel-good news.

Patricia Scott (author) from North Central Florida on December 20, 2012:

Hi Bill and yes, thanks. I had moved it and forgot to delete it above..

must have been a senior moment or something...o my...

Yes, it is a wonderful thing to see others giving and thinking of others. I think we all have a bit of the cynic sneak in once in a while. I try hard not to but I think it does happen at times.

take care of you and thanks....Sending you angels all the way out to Washington. :) ps

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on December 20, 2012:

And of course you know I agree with you! There are so many good souls out there doing the selfless giving thing, and it warms my heart to see it. It takes the cynical out of me and leaves me with a whole bunch of positive. :)

On another note, there is a section in your hub that is repeated...thought you might like to know. :)

Well done PS...sending hugs and the love of friendship your way.

bill