The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts


Giving is easy and complicated.

I used to be active in JCI. JCI is an organization I’ve been grateful for. It allowed me to be active on an international level and contribute to society locally as well as globally. It has been fantastic to see how young people come together, work together and enable themselves to shape the world.

It is an organization I’ve experienced as one in which it is impossible to give more than we receive. Contributing to the organization, to projects, to individuals has always felt to be a rich experience. I didn’t care about the time that went into it.

This summer I participated in the altMBA. Upon starting it we received a box full of books to read and a card with a manifesto or set of rules. It was an engagement to live up to it.

One of the sentences reads: “I will adopt a posture of generosity, giving without hope of getting.”

We often worked in learning groups. One of the things I observed there, was that giving was multifaceted. Whenever we stayed with “giving advice” or “giving ideas” we didn’t get far. The group helped each other, but something was missing. The discussion missed depth. There was only a bit of “togetherness”.

Things started to shift once participants were willing to share “themselves”. This meant to share their experience without trying to hide or to appear as being special. It meant being ok to be vulnerable, without trying to search for compassion. It also meant to share the help needed, describe how others could help and even more so let others help. These moments were full of generosity. Asking for help can be more generous than giving advice.

Giving is helping others.

Giving is engaging with the other.

Giving is letting others help.




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