Be a Gift to the World: What Will That Look When Unwrapped?

Attending my sister’s wedding in the month of July, I noticed friends and family members giving different gifts to the newlyweds.  Some of the gifts came as devoting time and being fully present. Other gifts came in the form of parcels wrapped.  Still other gifts came by crossing Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea or different states to celebrate the unity of the couple. The other gifts were wrapped in the form of hosting the wedding, organizing the day’s program, making the event a glorious one.  Another special gift was also given by making a video after interviewing family members. Other gifts were presented in the vibe created with dance, food, and so forth.  Oh! Still others sent cards to express their well wishes.  Few paid emotional price and gave that as a gift to the bride and groom to honor the long-term commitment. That wedding was symbolic of all sorts of natural talents, expertise, skills, time, money, knowledge, influencing powers, and sacrifices invested to make the wedding a special one setting the tone to successful marriage.   All the gifts had their ways of speaking about the graciousness of those who presented them.

Every year it is customary for Rotary International President elects to choose a yearly theme to guide their year of leadership.  The 2015/16 year’s President, K.R. Ravindran announced his presidential theme of the year as, \’Be a Gift to the World\’ asking Rotarians worldwide to use their talents, expertise, and leadership to serve the world.

A gift is something given voluntarily without payment in return, as to show favor toward someone, honor an occasion, or make a gesture of assistance. I would like to extend President Ravi’s call to all, including non-Rotarians to present ourselves as gifts to the world.  I strongly believe that we all are created to be unique and our uniqueness is meant to be the gift to the world.  Take time and imagine, if all of us think that we are created to be gifts to our family, our community, our country and even broadly to the entire universe, what would be seen when that gift is unwrapped?

Giving our very best may require a deliberate effort on sharpening our talents, developing our skills, knowing we all are created unique and useful; and capitalizing on that uniqueness to serve others.  It also requires that we be at our best to present ourselves worthy to be used for others’ service.  Our needs will be met by others’ gifts and we meet others’ needs as we go beyond ourselves and be at their services.  Being the best gift would not come with doing nothing.  Those of us who would like to be the best offerings, we may need to improvise our quality, working on ourselves to make the best out of our resources and capabilities to present ourselves as a gift.

On another note, this may also require us to embrace ourselves and be comfortable with who we are.  We stop living to please others and focus on who we are created to be and make the most out of it.  This may also mean we would not determine our worth based on others’ life choice but on our own uniqueness.  As all the gifts have special place to the one who receives them, we may need to believe that our uniqueness will fill in a gap in this world as expressed in its distinctiveness.

You are the giver and you are the gift. How would you like to bestow yourself and make a difference for a better world when unwrapped?

By Seble Hailu