Loa’s Blog

December 02, 2019

The Paradox of Giving

The funny thing about giving is that the giver benefits far more than the receiver when it is inspired by love.

Growing up, I must admit, I was a rather selfish child. Although my mother tried to break me of this bad habit, some things tend to be innate. As I grew older, I doubted whether I would make a very good parent because of it. My mom attempted to reassure me, however, that not all selfishness is bad. She said that when you really love someone you bring them into your circle of selfishness and are selfish on their behalf, and that you can be giving of yourself to those select special few. I never could quite comprehend how this worked until my sister had children.

Having no children of my own, my nephews have become as dear to me as if they were my own. Through my love for them, I began to understand the meaning of my mother’s words all those years ago. Yet, it truly hit home when I was reading The Giving Tree with my oldest nephew Wickliffe. In this children’s classic, there is a tree who unconditionally loves the little boy who plays in its shade. Throughout the story, the tree gives the boy everything he has until there is nothing left but a stump, because giving to the boy is what makes the tree happy. 

Ever since I first read this story as a child, when my uncle gave it to me for Christmas, I get a little teary eyed as the tree gives with seemingly little appreciation in return. This time, however, I understood the story in a completely different way. I would give anything to my nephews, and often do to the point of spoiling them. I would cut off my arm if they needed it, not that it does me much good anyway. I would literally give my life in exchange for theirs. 

Sitting next to Wickliffe and listening to him read, I can understand how the tree is so happy to give everything to the little boy it loves. The tree’s apples, leaves, branches, and trunk were far more valuable to the tree when given to the boy, than they were to the tree’s own fulfillment. The joy and unconditional love given by children is worth so much more than any little thing that we give them. The funny thing about giving is that the giver benefits far more than the receiver when it is inspired by love. 

The views expressed by Loa are not necessarily the view of the Ventec Life Systems, its members or the clinical board. These blog posts are the personal experiences of Loa. The blog posts are not intended to provide clinical advice or training related to VOCSN. Always consult a physician or trained clinician prior to using VOCSN. Please refer to the VOCSN Clinical and Technical Manual for detailed instructions, including indications and contraindications for use. VOCSN is available by prescription only.