One lesson from my grandma

Jul 2, 2008 by

She is old, in fact, she is very old. She is my grandmother and she is in quite of a critical illness right now. She was brought from my home-country Indonesia to Singapore, supposedly for an operation. Unfortunately, what the doctors in Indonesia did made her not at the suitable condition to get the operation done. We are waiting for the doctor’s decision right now.

A senile giver

She has been here in Singapore for a few days. I have visited her several times and my last visit put me into great admiration for her. Despite her senile and sedentary life, her love to her grandchildren really shines through.

One funny incident happened when I left her that night, my aunts and I were about to leave her in the hospital. We left some tissue papers with her. As she had difficulty to move around, we were putting the papers next to her.

While we were putting the papers, she was so afraid of losing the tissue papers. She asked us to put it in her pocket but she did not have any pockets. At the end, we were just getting a little bit creative, trying to fool her that her blanket is a pocket and putting it inside. I guess she wasn’t fooled, but she eventually had no option but to accept it.

That is not all, when she knew that I’m about to leave, she called me in, and she asked me to bring some papers back. I’m not sure what paper she was referring to, but I guess it’s the tissue paper, the only thing that she had and she could give me that time. And then, I took several tissue papers back home, thanks to her.

On my way home, I’m just reminded a quote that I know earlier…

You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving

Isn’t that so true? It’s kind of awkward while what you have is very little. Sometimes it’s not about the gift, but the attitude that counts.
Think about someone that you love, have we proved it by giving? If we have not, we might need to ask ourselves:

  • Do I really love him/her?”
    You cannot love without giving, so if you do not want to give, you may have to question whether we really love that person. It happens many times, we said we love the person, but we wait and see what others are giving. Our lack of wealth often becomes an excuse not to give. If you experience this, you have to question yourself again…
  • “Am I overwhelmed by fear?
    It’s the fear that we won’t have enough, the main reason why we hold back from giving. Giving takes courage, even more when what we have is limited.

Sometimes we hold on to our possessions because we fear we might run out – life seems scarce. But when we believe that giving is the way to live, we will produce more in the future – life seems abundant.
~John C. Maxwell

Between the two ways of life that John Maxwell shared, which one do you like the most? Do you prefer live life with scarcity or abundance attitude? It’s the attitude that we can change, the attitude that we can embrace our abundant life, even before we see it in our reality.

More resource: one article on giving I have written in the past, The secret of giving.

Let us give with a smile,

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  1. Hi Robert,

    Another very insightful article from you. This time it is very simple with a very simple message. The beauty of your grandmother, giving you a gift of tissue is very touching and illustrative. We always have something to give, and in giving we receive.

    Thank you very much for giving me that wonderful story.


    Nick Grimshawes last blog post..Leaves by E Laurence Bake

  2. Robert A.

    Hi Nick, thanks for the comment.

    It was a very simple action, but that really makes me wonder about her love. She has always been a giver, and even until now, she is still giving with what she has.

    I also noticed that you put a link from your forum. Thanks a lot for that.


  3. Even just smiling and saying hello to someone you cross paths with, is giving. It really can brighten up the day of another. It’s an act of kindness, which as you have displayed – is a significant form of giving.

    Bamboo Forests last blog post..Salute to Sporks

  4. Robert A.

    Bamboo, that’s a good thing to mention. Even a smile is a form of giving. Smile is free, and anyone can do it. It sounds funny if people can’t even give a smile.


  5. Robert – interesting points about giving when you feel as if you don’t have much to give. In my experience, when I give money to things that I feel are important, I feel that my money has a little less power over me. Giving helps the receiver and the giver too – it’s win win!

    Amanda Linehans last blog post..Be Persuasive By Being Certain

  6. Robert A.

    Hi Amanda, thanks for the message. What you said is very true, and it’s very important to make money our servant not our master.

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