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Welcome to the Back to the Books Giveaway Hop hosted by I am a Reader, Not a Writer, and Buried in Books. To Kick off this great giveaway with over 300 blogs participating, I’m offering a giveaway of my new release, The Choice. Three eBooks, internationally. And One Print Copy of The Choice, for residents of Canada and the U.S. Only. In order to be entered in the giveaway, leave a comment with a way for me to contact you.

A Choice to Give

I am not a recipient of the Nobel peace prize.

I’m not even in the running for such a prestigious prize.

I’ve never dedicated my life to working with those less fortunate than me.

But I am grateful for what I have. I’m fortunate to live on beautiful Vancouver Island, in the country, well away from the crowded city.

I lead a pretty low-key life. And I’ve never taken on a major cause to change the world.

But what I am, is a mother with great respect and admiration for Givers in this world. My children I’m especially proud. They’re not takers, in fact, they’ll go out of their way to help someone, and never once have they done an act of kindness with the expectation of something in return.  They’re great kids. And they’re Givers.

Do you know the difference between a Giver and Taker? Well Giver’s are true humanitarians who help their fellow man, without expecting something in return. Takers are people who seek out opportunities to take something from someone. Pretty cut and dry, and I guarantee everyone knows someone who falls into one of these categories, sometimes both.

Takers are people who have their friend or neighbor look after their child. Never pay them, or offer anything in return. They always have an emergency, they’re always in a bind, or have some crisis. Takers know how to manipulate people, without ever giving anything in return. Takers never help anyone but themself, and always seek out opportunities to get more.

What about the buddy that always drops by your house, eats your food, drinks your wine. And never reciprocates.  Or the stranger who refuses to give up their seat on the crowded bus to the elderly lady who struggles to hold on.

Remember the Lady at the buffet with the Ziploc bag, shoving it full of food. After all, she needed her money’s worth.

What about the person who crams towels, pillows, shampoo and toiletries from a hotel room into their suitcase? A landlord who has a tenant clean up a mess from a prior tenant,  repair damage, renovate or upgrade the property, which the landlord profits from, and offers tenant no compensation – not even a thank you. On the other hand, how about the tenant who skips out on his rent, or steals from the property owner who’s offered a kindness to someone who’s fallen on hard times. These are very clear cases of takers.

Everyone can remember what it’s like to stand in that long line, at the grocery store, the bank, or in department store Christmas line-up. The one you’ve been in for what feels like an hour. You’ve waited your turn, your feet hurt, you’re probably a little mad there’s only two check-outs open. But you’ve almost made it. Hooray! There’s only four people left in front of you. Then you can go home, and put your feet up. But wait. The middle age balding guy in front of you suddenly gives up his spot to a young Mother and her screaming kid. Your mouth falls open, unbelievable. That’s your spot. You’ve waited patiently. And what does this Yahoo do? He lets this young babe waltz in and claim the spot right in front of you.

Well guess what? That Yahoo’s a Giver. He recognized her need was greater. Her child was tired and irritable and she struggled to keep it together. Also, what you didn’t recognize. Her child acted a little odd, and was darn close to a meltdown. But that Yahoo saw a young lady who needed a helping hand. You were too focused on you.

Folks, giving’s not about keeping score. Who’s there first. Anyone who gives with the expectation of something in return, quite often does this to validate his or her self-esteem. Expecting generosity returned, is not a giver, so don’t confuse the two. This is a taker needing to validate his or her sense of self-worth. And at times may feel everyone’s out to steal from them.

As my ten-year-old son says, “You need to fill your heart with love.” He’s wise beyond his years. At times impresses the hell out of me with his wisdom. As a family we give to each other – we always make time for each other. Love starts at home. Giving starts at home.

Mother Theresa was a Giver, a selfless human being. I love her quotes, and I love what she stood for.

Love begins at home, love lives in homes, and that is why there is so much suffering and so much unhappiness in the world today. Everybody in the world seems to be in such a terrible rush, anxious for greater developments, greater riches and so on, so that children have very little time for their parents. Parents have very little time for each other, and in the home begins the disruption of the world.”

How often do you hear people say it’s not my responsibility to feed the hungry? “If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.” What about the homeless in your community? The war vets who’re living on the street, or the mentally ill with no place or services to help them? Or families who live in their car because they can’t find decent housing, or they don’t have enough money to eat? Who’s responsibility is this?

“Do not wait for leaders, do it alone, person to person.”

 “If you judge people you have no time to love them.”  And, “At the end of our lives we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, or how much money we have made, or how many great things we have done.  We will be judged by ‘I was hungry and you gave to me to eat. I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless and you took me in.”

My children and I made a choice long ago to give to each other. Love begins at home, giving starts at home. Then you can help others, one person at a time. Ask yourself and your family one question. Are you Givers or Takers?

*Italics are quotes from Mother Theresa

Remember, please leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway for my new release, The Choice.