Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Are you guilty? I know I am. A lot of people are feeling guilty this time of year. Obviously, a lot of people are feeling guilty about overeating on Thanksgiving because there was a larger than normal crowd at the gym yesterday morning. Usually there are only about 5 or 6 people working out with me at 5 am but yesterday there were about 25. It was nice to have the company but I bet the crowds will thin out in a few days. That is usually how long that guilty feeling stays with you; Just a few days. As I suspected, today there were only 5 of us working out. Wow that was fast.

I wasn’t working out today because of guilt, it was my normal routine. But what I am guilty of is “guilt giving”. Ironically, that subject was touched on during this past Sunday’s sermon. When I see someone in need I feel guilty and I give so that I don’t feel guilty. If those Salvation Army people are standing out in a freezing rain, I feel guilty and give a little extra. This year as I usually do, I made a pledge to the United Way. They are good at making me feel guilty. They show me photos of people in need and then remind me how much I have and the rest is history. The problem is that guilty giving isn’t habit changing so it usually doesn’t last.

The fund raising drive was several months ago but the money won’t start coming out of my check until January of 2009. However recently we were informed that due to the state of the economy, we won’t be getting a cost of living raise next year. Since it has been months since I saw the photos and heard the stories, it was easy to forget the need and think about myself. My first thought was to see if I could cancel the pledge to the United Way. I am sure I could if I really needed to but truth is I don’t. I decided not to take such drastic actions. I will survive.

So why should I continue to give? Well first off, I am better off than most people are these days.
No I am not wealthy by American standards but by the “worlds” standards I am. Most of us, even the ones struggling here in America are in the top 10% of the worlds people when it comes to our living conditions. It isn’t always evident but it is true. Did you know that the average income in India is 20 dollars a week? Secondly, I enjoy giving. Even though I sometimes feel pressured into giving at work, I do like the feeling I get when I give to a good cause. I just have to stop feeling like I have to give and just give because I want to.

There was a coat box at church this week as well, reminding us that people not only need food, they need warm clothes. There was no one standing there harassing anyone, just a small sign and a box. Sunday afternoon, after church, we cleaned out our closets of clothes that we don’t wear. There were many items that had never been worn. Yesterday, my wife took them all to the Goodwill store. There were three large bags of clothes, and also a VCR and some tapes. Hopefully, someone can put them to good use. I like giving to Goodwill. This year, I will try to give more than ever before just because I want to and not because I feel guilty.

Ok so time to give away just because I want to. (see it was worth it to read all of this post)
In my spare time I make simple Christmas crafts. These really aren’t valuable but they are homemade and hand crafted by me. (that’s better than made by elves) I won’t say what they are though so it will be a surprise if you are the recipient. If you are interested, just leave a comment on this post and ask to be included. I will put all the names in a bowl and draw one lucky winner. If I am feeling really generous (not guilty) which I am(hint hint), I may throw in some other local items and possibly pick one or two runners up. Who knows what all you will find in the grand prize.

Have a wonderful day,


Chatty Kelly said...

Pick me, pick me!!!! I love prizes!! I love winning, it's in my competitive nature.

Yes, I am "guilty" too. But giving does make us feel good.

Have a great day!

Beverly Lewis said...

I love give-aways. Thanks for giving us the opportunity to win!
I am NOT guilty. : ) I just want to do all things with all people, everywhere at all times. It's an affliction that I have learned to manage.

Edie said...

I want to win! I want to win! I have a great appreciation for crafts of all kinds so your carefully crafted items will be well cared for. (a little kissin up never hurts huh? ;D)

I love to give and don't like it when I'm made to feel guilty, but like you, I do give in at times.

Edie said...

Does this count as two for the drawing! :P

Scarlet said...

Count me in! Count me in! I love these games...and something hand crafted by you would be a wonderful treat! (Can you enter my name twice for being extra sweet??) :)

You've inspired me to clean out my closets (I actually have clothes with tags on them I don't plan to wear...gifts I'll never use). It's time to look through the kids' toys, too, and give because I want to (and because you made me feel so GUILTY!). Just kidding. ;)

Katherine Aucoin said...

Standing here with a pitiful face and my hand out. Are you feeling guilty yet? LOL

Pick me!!!! I never win anything.

Patrice said...

It's easy to forget about those that have so much less than we do. I fall into the guilty zone here and then I struggle with the guilt.

This summer I saw more than I ever could of imagined and wow what an eye opener. When I need a reminder I am very lucky to be able to go back and look at pictures and then I get everything back into prespective!

BTW, Pick me!! I would love to be the owner of a wonderful Christmas craft produced by your very own little elf hands!! How fun!!

Sharon said...

Hi Greg,
I'm sorry can't enter the Giveaway but I wanted to say thank you for sharing how you give during the Christmas season. That's a good kind of guilt in my opinion ;)

Take care,

Marjie said...

Happy belated Thanksgiving. I eat plenty, but I run for 2 days before to get it all ready, so I figure that's my workout.

Don't enter me in your giveaway, since so many people already want your surprise, but here's a cyber hug for your generosity!

Lori said...

I guess guilt can be very motivating. I know it is for me too a lot of the time. You are a very generous person, whatever the motivation!

Monogram Queen said...

Count me in - I love homemade crafts (and ones made by elves as well. Cannot discriminate against elves. It's not PC!)

Glad to get back on your blog now i've gotta go. I've got some back-reading and commenting to do!

P.S. I never have an post-Thanksgiving eating guilt. That's how I roll ;)

Marla said...

Count me in Greg!! I love giveaways! If you don't give, you feel even worse! I don't think I give enough- guilty!

Daphine said...

Great post! I do give to the Salvation Army people who stand outside the shopping places ringing the bell. It brings joy to my heart just by giving a little bit when I am walking out.

Do count me in on your giveaway! Better yet....pick me on purpose. lol!

Angie said...

I watched a new reality show called "Secret Millionaire". Your post made me think of that. You should watch it. Count me in for some Christmas fun, k?

Leslie said...

I never give money to anyone ringing a migraine causing bell outside a store! But that is just me....
When I give money, I tend to give it directly to a needy family or to an organization that I personally know and agree with their mission/values.
I just don't trust those larger organizations like Salvation Army because I cannot see my money personally making a difference. That is probably why I usually give locally only.
My 2 cents...

somebody said...