“You give but little when you give of your possessions.
It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” ― Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
This quotation inspired me at 17. My modest family had adequate shelter, food and only necessary possessions plus a simple TV and a piano. As a poor farm youngster I didn’t have many possessions to give. I had energy and caring to give. It was earlier than age 17 that I knew I wanted to have a “giving” profession–teaching.
My family and many other families were conservative and reserved. They gave little of themselves in relationship “energy” even though they made physical and material sacrifices for their families. As a farm child in the 40’s and 50’s it was understood that if you were around an adult doing a chore you would become part of the process. If you were visiting an aunt you would help dry the dishes or if you were considered capable, you would be honored (yes, honored) with the chore of washing the dishes. If there was lawn work, you would be part of it. You gave of yourself in chores and setting the table or helping with the cooking. Less often you learned to give of your psychic energy especially in the more reserved families.
I enjoyed being with the families that were effervescent, expressive and who shared energy more freely. Thankfully I think that I learned how to share a warm glow from the eyes, smiles and touches of caring from these families and in teen church groups. Certainly the pets in my life taught me the exchange of energy– the purring cats who rolled into balls when petted and appreciative dogs who enjoyed their ears or bellies being rubbed. They exchanged this psychic energy which we still don’t have words to describe.
Hopefully science will find a way to describe this phenomenon “when you give of yourself”.