Thursday, January 16, 2014

The magic of giving

One of the tenets of the philosophy my zero-aggression-principle, pacifist hero Ray Kaliber espoused in The Imaginary Revolution is “Give more than you receive.” This week I experienced an example of how that works in real life.

As I wrote the other day, my plans for my little superhero adventure stories got a boost with the arrival of my friend Wally Conger’s new project, Operation Hulk-SMASH. His ideas about smashing ahead through the temptation to procrastinate meshed with and affirmed the incentives I’ve been trying to install in my creative work habits.

I expressed my gratitude in the best way I knew, by giving him the credit he deserved and hopefully encouraging some of you to try his (ridiculously reasonably priced) product. I did this because I appreciated the kick in the psyche, no other reason.

Wally responded by giving me a remarkably generous boost in his own blog and email newsletter, and by scribing a glowing review of The Adventures of Myke Phoenix for Amazon. He gives the book five stars and even reminded me of something I may have forgotten to mention to you: These are fun stories with quite a healthy dose of humor. “I dare you to read any of the six stories in this collection without a big grin on your face," Wally says.

He gave more than he received. I daresay neither of us expected what we got in return for what we’d given.

And that’s the tricky part of giving more than you receive: You need to give out of an attitude of thankfulness, not because you want or expect to receive anything back. The recipient can sense any strings attached to a gift.

The late, great motivator Zig Ziglar famously said you can have everything you want if you just help enough other people get what they want. The key is really, sincerely wanting to help those other people without consciously thinking about your own needs and wants. That’s when the magic of giving happens.
* * * * *
P.S. The Imaginary Revolution is written in the same universe as my first novella, The Imaginary Bomb, but is not exactly a sequel. I’m thinking of writing the same story as a true sequel, from the point of view of the I-Bomb characters. Do you think I’m nuts?

No comments: