In the late 1940s, David Dunn wrote a delightful little book by the above title. He determined that he would practice, as a hobby, the art of giving himself to other people. His goal was to do small, thoughtful deeds for others as he went about his daily activities. He found that while such kindnesses did not cost him very much in terms of money, time or effort, they brought great results.
His kindnesses might range from a simple smile shared with a passerby, a word or note of appreciation, or a word of encouragement. He found that while such deeds brought an element of joy to the recipient, he was the one whose heart became filled with joy. In the chapter entitled “Bread Upon the Waters,” he stated, “Doing what you can to make life more livable for other people makes your own life fuller. Friends multiply and good things come to you from every direction. The world has a way of balancing accounts with givers-away—provided their hands aren’t outstretched for return favors.”
While Dunn’s book is not specifically a religious volume, his practice of giving himself to others is based upon a principle expressed by Jesus Himself. In Acts 20:35, the apostle Paul stated, “I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
Imagine the difference each of us could make in the lives of those we meet if we could become “givers-away.”