Sunday, October 17, 2010

The greatest gift

What is the best gift you’ve ever given or received? Was it clothing, jewelry, electronics? Recently while attending a class the speaker asked the attendees this question. I spent some time in quiet contemplation. As we went around the room some of the answers were pretty impressive – a new car for graduation, a vacation for an anniversary, the birth of a healthy child. No one could argue against the fact that all of those things were wonderful gifts.

When the facilitator got to me, my answer was different. The greatest gift every given to me has been the gift of someone’s time. It’s the most valuable thing they can give me for it is irreplaceable. If someone gives you a beautiful gold watch that costs them a thousand dollars, that would be an amazing gift. However, the person is likely to be able to replace the money they spent on the watch. The gift of time is irreplaceable.

When someone gives you the gift of their time, remember they could have given that gift it to someone else or kept it for themselves. But they didn’t. They gave it to you. When that happens, remember to thank them for choosing to give it to you.

1 comment: said...

Thanks so much for this example of a true gift. I always make a point of thanking a person for their time, no matter the circumstance. I had forgotten the value of the simple statement but thanks to reading your column I have been reminded of the importance of demonstrating this form of gratitude.

Best Wishes, and thanks for the leadership.

Brantly Westfall
City of Larkspur, CA F.D.