Has someone asked you for something and you have grudgingly agreed or wholeheartedly agreed but then something changed and it became difficult to follow through?
Last week, while we were on our family vacation in the San Juan islands north of Seattle, we enjoyed a lovely whale watching cruise. My husband took hundreds of photos and a stranger asked if he would send her all of his photos. He had assumed he would just pick out the best ones and email them to her, but when she called to inquire about whether he could get her the photos she told us she had no email and would like us to snail mail her a disc. For whatever reason, this became a chore for my husband and suddenly he was very unhappy about this prospect. When we discussed it further, I realized he didn’t want to deal with all the mailing aspects – finding an appropriate mailer, postage etc. I offered to do that part of it (a no brainer for me) and all he needed to do was burn the disc (a no brainer for him). Together, we were able to find a happy medium to follow through on this request to share the photos with this stranger.
The lesson I learned from this scenario, is that sometimes we aren’t happy or excited to give for whatever reason. It happens to all of us. Giving grudgingly or unwillingly according to Maimonides Ladder of Giving is actually the lowest form of giving. (See previous post on Maimonides Ladder of Giving.) Being able to say no to a request initially or consciously figuring out why we don’t want to give and perhaps shifting our thoughts about this can provide beneficial. Ultimately, it may even lift our giving back up to a higher level.
4 thoughts on “Giving Grudgingly”
“…or consciously figuring out why we don’t want to give and perhaps shifting our thoughts about this…”
I agree. Consciously thinking about why I don’t want to give something can really change my attitude. Like you and your husband experienced, it is usually some small part of the larger picture which is the problem.
Yes, it’s just actually figuring out what that small part is that can sometimes be tricky. Thanks for your comment Eric! 🙂
Very true – giving reluctantly or resentfully is not a positive experience for anyone involved. Lately whenever I feel obligated to give or that it is a chore I try to take a step back and ask why. If I can’t change my perspective I don’t perform the kindness. Not easy but necessary. Thanks for the reminder! 🙂
Received a lovely thank you note from the women we’d sent the photos to with a $15 check. Very unexpected!