In Giving We Receive

haulin netGoodness grows in North Carolina. I am reminded of this again by two recent benevolent examples. One involves a Tchoukball set; the other a set of GPS units which can be used for geocaching.

In the first example, the Morehead Middle PE department possesses what is probably the only Tchoukball set in town. The PE teachers stepped outside the box and taught their young charges this game from off. Then, they offered it up to other middle schools who wanted to teach the game to their PE students. Broad Creek Middle took them up on it and taught Tchoukball during two weeks of PE at their school.

In the second example, Beaufort Middle possesses a classroom set of Global Positioning Systems—complete with rechargeable batteries, chargers, and a massive carrying case. During a recent staff development day for the Laptop Learners, Janet McLendon put the units up for checkout and put together this GPS checkout webpage. Look at how the GPS units are scheduled to proliferate across the school system!

So, the Tchoukball and GPS examples demonstrate the benevolence of sharing resources. Hat’s off to Janet and the MMS PE crowd for “paying it forward!”

What happens in any human dealings when the opposite of benevolence occurs? We end up with something like the following—

Folks who tend to lord mightily over both turf and toys, fascinated with so much power over so very little . . . the net gain being little more than the creation of a great wall of isolation, a characteristic which runs counter to 21st century skills.

But we won’t end today’s discourse on that sour note. Rather, let’s get back to the benevolent givers of Tchoukball and the benevolent givers of GPS. What do they, and all who share, receive in return for their acts of kindness and generosity to fellow schools?

There are fairly modern reminders about generosity at wisdom quotes. One example is—

Barbara Bush: Giving frees us from the familiar territory of our own needs by opening our minds to the unexplained worlds occupied by the needs of others.

Aristotle chimes in—

All are concerned with giving and taking, although to different degrees. Stinginess is the quality of attaching too much importance to material things

And, of course, the timeless value of gifts and generosity is documented in the ancient text:

We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. (Romans 12:6-10)

For if you give, you will get! Your gift will return to you in full and overflowing measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use to give—large or small—will be used to measure what is given back to you.” (Luke 6:38)

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