In Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, the main character, Jean Valjean asks, “Who am I?” William Shakespeare is perhaps best known for penning of the question “To be? Or not to be? That is the question!” That indeed is the question. Here, my friends, is the answer to both of the above questions: “Yes, I am.” In other words, whoever you decide to be is exactly who you are. October’s MNODN speaker, Janae Bower, address this issue in a more applicable and practical manner. Her take simply is this: If we become the best “us” possible, we are then able to give back a better version of “us” to our spouse, friends, family, children, organization and community.
How does one “Be” all they can “Be?” One way of course is to join the Army (according to the recruiting slogan). Another way, according to Bower is use the acronym GIVING as a guide.
G stands for “Gift.” We are all gifts to each other. We all have something to give. Some personal gifts are time, friendship, enthusiasm. Give these gifts freely.
I stands for “Impression.” Strive to make a great impression. Use the statement “I am….” Whatever word comes to mind immediately is a strength of yours. Use it to make a great impression.
V stand for “Value.” Whatever you do, make sure you’re doing it to add value to yourself and to those around you.
I stands for Important. Find out what’s important to those with whom you associate. If you know another person’s passion, you know what drives them. Pursue that which helps others achieve, improve or better participate in their passion.
N stands for “Noteworthy.” Help other remember that they’re important. What they do matters. Value is created when other feel valuable.
G stands for “Give.” Take every opportunity to give back. Keep giving. Don’t give up. Give others, including God, credit for all gifts and benefits bestowed upon you.
In the end, a giving you is a better you. Find out who you are, where your strengths lie and who can benefit by your gifts. Then give. Simply put: giving really is the gifts that keeps on giving.