The idea of giving without expectation has recently been suggested to me. My son actually suggested that I live my life without any expectations, stating I am too goal orientated. He claims that he lives his life this way because then, “Everything that happens is a pleasant surprise.” I admit I had to laugh when he said this, but the more I think about it the more I think he might be on to something. So if I give without expectation, I expect no response and nothing in return for a good deed. Also, if I go through life without expectation, according to my son, I will be happier.
When I was telling my husband about my son’s advice he said, “Oh you do that all of the time.” I was confused, because I really don’t think that I do. He went on to name some examples, “You know those elderly people you’ve given the endearing nickname, floor magnets, you’re always helping them up when they fall in parking lots.” It’s true, I do call them floor magnets and for some reason I often seem to frequent restaurants where floor magnets are magnetized to the parking lot…thus I help them up, perform first aid, and have been known to call an ambulance if needed. Calling them floor magnets in no way implies a derogatory description of my elders; it is simply a scientific fact. That said, I usually never see them again and thus this might be an example of giving without expectation. However, this has happened often enough, I almost expect when visiting a local Perkins restaurant, I will probably be called to service, for better or worse. I suppose someday when I become a floor magnet, I will appreciate someone else’s gesture of giving without expectation.
At any rate, my son who so often gifts me amazing advice, has me thinking about being less goal orientated in gaining or completing something of value, and more gracious in expecting nothing as I journey through life. Although my family thought of many examples of when I do this, I do think it’s something I could do better. I do feel that when I give something, I never regret what I have given. I try hard to give what I am able, but am careful not to give so much, I will feel regret. Perhaps this is why the song I sang with my sisters growing up says, “For it is in giving that we receive.” Instead of, “For in giving we expect to receive.” Apparently St. Francis of Assisi gives amazing advice as well 🙂