The commandments I have created for myself are not things that I do perfectly. Quite the opposite. These are things I feel strongly about, and things I feel I have real need for improvement on. These are challenges for myself. Things I want to do better at in my life.
As Anne Frank said, "No one has ever become poor by giving."
I am of the firm belief that all that we have is on loan. It's not, any of it, ours in the first place--our time, our talents, our possessions....Because I have received so abundantly, it's my opportunity to give it away. To be selfish about anything is foolishness.
I will assert, however, that this isn't always easy. I also would like to state that giving willy nilly is foolishness. There have been times when I've seen someone on the side of the road with a sign and felt very strongly urged inside my heart to give them something. There have been others when I have not. There have been times when I've known that instead of running off to a meeting, I've needed to stay behind and take the time to talk to and listen to someone. These things all fall under this commandment. Do what is best--follow your heart.
Life is short, and we only go around once, so every minute should be our best, or we should use these minutes wisely.
I need to add, for my own encouragement, that the times when I've given unselfishly, I know I have been rewarded for doing so almost immediately.
I've been told that there are two kinds of people in this world--the givers and the takers. I want to be a giver.
To quote a woman I deeply admire:
I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking kids to scout camp.
I want to be there with a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbors children.
I want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping to weed someone's garden.
I want to be there with children's sticky kisses on my cheeks and the tears of a friend on my shoulder.
I want the Lord to know I was really here and that I really lived.”
― Marjorie Pay Hinckley
Life is short. It's our opportunity in it to gain through giving.