The Perspicacity of Giving

Hello my readers,

It’s been a long while since I posted on my blog. I apologize for that, but I have a good reason for being inactive. Back in October, October 2015, my antidepressant medication had stopped working. From what I have gathered, it is common for this to happen. Thus, I have lost interest in many things. I have lost interest in video games, reading theology as a hobby, crafting, and other things. At times, I can’t even seem to enjoy the idea of going out with friends to a fair. My doctor and I are currently working on trying to find new medication that will help me function again as I should. It takes more than six weeks to know if a medication is working for me or not. It is a tedious process of trial and error and me feeling like a dart board. The different medications are the darts in this case.

One thing I noticed today and is compounded by something I read is, giving is very hard when I am struggling with depression. The last few weeks I have been so wrapped up in my own pain and anguish that I find it hard to give back to others. On my good days, when I have clarity of thought, I can look outside myself and give to others. I love those days. And I love giving to others, so I am very much struck by my observation that it is hard for me to give when I am suffering a lot. Recently, I wrote my Godparents a letter and mailed it to their house. It took me a few days to write it after I had the idea of writing them a nice letter. Rationally, I waited for a day when my mood was not bad as I noticed that my mood tends to bleed through in my writing. (Thank you, texting! things you realize from being a person who loves texting!) Thus, in a certain way, I already understood that in order to give someone has to be in the right state to be able to give. Though, I had not made the connection itself with giving.

The nature of giving is one that is made out of surplus. If there is no surplus than the giving could be seen as sacrificing. They are two different things. I understand, though I don’t like it, I am not in a very good position to give to others. A person who has no money cannot give money to someone else. Thus, when I have no comfort within myself I can’t really give to others. Thankfully, unlike money, what I give can be considered something that is renewable since on the good days I can give to others. Whereas, with the example of someone having no money they have to save up when they get money so they can give to others. However, as I write this, I realize that it is only recently that I have felt like it has been hard to give to others. There are days that are so bad for me that there is no possible way that I can look beyond my own suffering and help someone else. On the bright side, there are days where I am not doing so well, but I can give to others and do something to show them how much I care.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” I see now that there is a time for me to give to others, and a time when I cannot give to others. Thus, I am coming to understand that at times in my depression there are days when it is not the time to give. There are people out there that consider people with depression to be just self-absorbed and self-centered. In a certain way, they are correct, but they use the wrong words. They use words that say that a depressive has a surplus; when a depressive probably doesn’t even have scraps. Granted, these individuals tend to be people who fall away from the mainstream idea that depression is a biological illness, so they don’t see it as a depressive having nothing. They see it as being greedy. This is wrong. However, my focus is on the idea that there is this aspect of perspicacity to the action of giving. Perspicacity, when you type it into google, means “the quality of having a ready insight into things; shrewdness.” I realize that there is a sense of perspicacity in giving. There are times when it is not the time to give, and there are times when it is the time to give.

The perspicacity of giving, also, deals with the understanding of when a person can help someone and when they will only make things worse. Have you ever been in a situation where someone wants to help you, but they only make it worse? I’m sure all of us have some sort of experience with that. I definitely have experiences like that. Ha ha ha, now, since usually it has to do with my depression, I educate people before if they want to help me. I give them articles on what is helpful to say and what makes things worse. (That’s supposed to be funny.) Anyway, there is a certain aspect to the act of giving, when one has to see if they are really suited to helping this person. I can’t tell you how many times good people with good intentions have given me bad advice about my health. There is a time when one needs to discern when they should give and support another person because it suits their abilities and when they should not. Or perhaps, people need to educate themselves before they try to give support to another person. Perhaps, it’s the time to educate yourself and then it’s the time for giving. These things all fall under the perspicacity of giving because one has to know when it is the time for giving.

Anyway, this is something that my trial has recently taught me and I thought I would share this insight that I am gaining with you. This is in no way a complete analyzation in the perspicacity of giving. This is only the beginning of the flourishing of what God is teaching me as reflect upon myself and the events in my life. I hope you, at least, found this to be a little bit insightful about the act of giving.

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Words Unsaid

Today I attended a funeral of a young girl named Nicole. I knew her from high school and we had played soccer together on the same teams for a few years. Watching the people there at the Lutheran church, I found I began to wonder how many people had left things unsaid and how those thoughts and feelings were never to be known by Nicole nor Nicole’s by others. It really reinforced my philosophy of never leaving things unsaid.

This philosophy was something I cultivated with my friendship with a certain boy I was good friends with. He was a sweet, caring, and different from other boys I had met. He seemed to always have sweet things to say and didn’t seem afraid to express the good things he really felt. I don’t think he ever has or will leave anything unsaid about what good he thinks of a person and how they affect him. It wasn’t until later after we had somewhat parted that I realized his words to people and the way he acted had taught me a great lesson. It was through him that I adopted the philosophy of embracing what I felt and letting people know just how much they mean to me. Maybe this way of living can be considered true honesty because you hold none of the good things back.

Even though I hold this principle, I can’t help but think of others and how they don’t embrace this humanity and heart we have. Instead, I find most people hide it and never say simply “Hey, you mean you a lot to me and have changed my life and taught me to be a better person. You’re a really genuine person.” They keep it inside and never say what they feel and how having someone in their life affected them. I think that’s such a waste in a way. It’s like we walk around with masks on. Hiding behind them by leaving things unsaid and not revealing this innate commonalty we share of being human– having feelings, experiences, and growing. We all have it. why don’t we embrace it and remove the masks we wear?

Blessed Mother Teresa said,”We cannot all do great things, but we can do small things with great love” and from my experience of having that boy, Brad, in my life the things he said would make me smile and show me sight from his eyes. Proverbs 16:24 says, “gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” We can love in small ways everyday by our words and especially with sharing our heart with a person about the good things they do and what we think of them. Now love is not just saying nice things, but is also a verb and needs action too, however I will touch on that sometime later in another post. From my perspective, it’s always been pleasing to my soul to make my friends smile and when I don’t leave things unsaid I’m able to show people their value. And the experiences and lessons you learned from that person also end up benefiting them by showing them how they have impacted your life. As a side note, using words is not the end all be all of showing love, there are many ways to show love. Sometimes words are not enough, and can be expressed through another outlet.

Basically my concluding thoughts are don’t stay quiet about how you feel. If you appreciate someone in your life tell them. If you are proud of someone tell them. If you are worried for someone say it. You have time now to say things and when they leave or die they will never know how you truly feel or saw in them and I think that’s such a shame. In addition, those words can be good encouragement for a person. Whether people want to admit it or not, words are a powerful thing. That also means it can go either way too with how you use your words, good or bad, so I’ll leave you with this, Ephesians 4:29 says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”