This small but mighty book by Shel Silverstein is reflected upon by many. It is about a tree that gives everything it has to a little boy as he grows to be an old man. The tree is left as a mere stump at the end of the book which the old man can sit upon.
Many wonder if that is a wise use of one’s life. I find it has new meaning depending upon what stage of life we are in. It came to mind with two recent conversations I’ve had. I have a good friend who is struggling with so wanting to be the monetary donor she always was when having a greater income. She had been taught to tithe 10% and she seemed to be feeling some guilt that she could no longer afford to do that. I on the other hand, went to a church, where the minister had taught us that all our monetary gifts anywhere were part of that 10% tithing. He even included paying taxes to the federal government as part of that tithing process. In that case, many of us would be gifting much more than 10%. This would be in a monetary sense only and there are so many more ways to share.
In the second conversation, another group and I were talking about giving in ways that we felt weak in. If we felt a lack of free time, giving of one’s time would be the best choice. If we felt a lack of monetary support, then giving of one’s funds would be the best choice. Though I absolutely see the wisdom of this second conversation from a law of attraction point-of-view, I’d like to offer an additional perspective.
What if it truly wasn’t possible as we aged to find the giving funds supporting organizations we cared about? Could we be like “the giving tree?” Would we always have something left to give? I believe this would almost always be true in our lifetimes as humans. Consider what happens when we age to the point where others might need to care for us. We could be angry or grumpy or demanding or impatient. However, by choice, we could be giving of appreciation, a smile, and kind words instead. We are also in a state of receiving as elders. This in itself is a gift because we allow others to have the opportunity to give.
This brings me to another point. I was lucky a few years back to have a 103-year-old mother. The last year of her life didn’t seem to have much happiness or quality. She’d been in the constant care of others for 4 years at this point in time. It was that year that a well-respected medium told me that she was living to this ripe old age because she needed to be the receiver instead of giver for karmic balance. So even when we can’t intentionally give, maybe the universe helps us be a “giving tree”.
Do you wish to be a giver? I believe I could do a better job of that. At the same time, are we in balance with allowing the universe to help us while we also give the good? When we are spiritually inclined, we tend to not take our responsibilities lightly. Let’s create a better world, shall we?
Thank you, Shel Silverstein, for the book that has inspired so many, me amongst them.
Love and light,