Character builder: the giving of “little things” counts the most


"But this I say, He which sows sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which sows bountifully shall reap also bountifully." - 2 Corinthians 9:6

Home with grandma

Your time, your presence, a listening ear, guiding advice, an uplifting word, an offer to help, an honest conversation — these have the power to change a person's life forever, not because of an immediate "boom!" impact, but because of the soothing "I am there for you" effect imprinted on the recipient.

A few months ago during my visit to Cameroon (photo above), I noticed in the villages that offering an older relative (especially grand moms) just a few hundred/thousand francs (less than $10) met with unending "thank yous", warm handshakes and hugs. Subtly presenting the cash and saying something like, "big mamie, this is not much, but please use it to get some crayfish (or palm oil, or salt)," showed concern for their wellbeing. It wasn't about the money, it was more about my presence, the gesture and thought behind it – "get something to eat". Because I was visiting from abroad, there was much appreciation for the time taken to come greet them, the concern shown and the joy of meeting again after so many years. I on the other hand was showered with blessings and well-wishes. It felt good. 

Giving of ourselves makes a far bigger impact than monetary gifts ever would. People forget money, never kindness.

For many years, I never understood the importance of "the little things". I always felt that providing financial support to family especially, and supporting friends' and business associates' projects with money was the main thing expected/required of me. Of course, it wasn't possible to give money all the time. And what happened was that when I wasn't able to give $, I pulled away and became unavailable. This hurt loved ones, putting a strain on important relationships.

But then as the years passed, I have learned that there's more to personal relationships and making a lasting impact than giving money. "Being there" really does come first. Regardless of how busy we are, we can never run out of the capacity to be there for others, to dedicate some time to help and be of service. Your time is a more precious commodity than money, hence investing it to support and uplift others makes a leader stand out.

True, many will not appreciate the "little things", others will blatantly take those kind gestures for granted, but their imprint on human beings (givers and recipients alike) is always indelible. Givers are generally happy people. To have been a blessing to another, to have had a positive impact — that feeling stays with you, blossoming into fulfillment. Upon looking a little deeper, one realizes that leaders who give of themselves are the ones that inspire humanity the most.

"Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”" – Mark 9:35

Don't sit back and wait for a gift, be the gift. Reach out and be a blessing.

"Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again." – Luke 6:30

 Kind words are never wasted, a good deed shall never forsaken, a giver is never foolish in the eyes of God — for their impact upon the world remains unquantifiable, felt only in the hearts of men. Today, I encourage you to not tire of giving "the little things". Be great.

Cheers to your success!

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