Would you want to give 1 million dollars to someone?
OR Would you like to get 1 million dollars from someone?
People say: people are greedy. People always want to take. We, Londoners, love the free promotional products we GET almost every day on the streets of London. We get spoiled and used to being always given things.
But it’s ok, why would I refuse that 1 free starbucks cup a week? It amounts to £156 a year. This is good few hours spent in the office on a Sunny day.
We see the queue on the street and we’re instantly curious.. what are they giving away there? What can we GET?
But this is London. This is the mindset which the western world created. BUT there are different worlds out there. Where the story goes different. There are OTHER human worlds where the first thing people think is not to get, but to GIVE.. And today, I will tell you where this world is.
Three years ago I was visiting the AMAZING country of Peru with my sister. We, of course went to see the touristy stuff like Machu Picchu and so on. But the magic happened in the forest on the little known trail. The day after we visited the busy, iphone flashy Machu Picchu, we chose the little known trail to a meaningless waterfall.
It was purely amazing, uncrowded path, ending with a cute little waterfall at the end of the path.
At the end of the two hours walk, we sat down to have a rest whilst listening to the amazing music which the waterfall water and the forest birds were playing together. It was magical. After a while, a little group of four came to the waterfall with a local Quechua tribe Shaman.
The group was preparing for the tribal shamanic water cleansing. One of the guys from the group went to the water and slipped on the stones, hurting his arm. My always! prepared older sister, took out her first aid kit from the back pack looking at me “you see I am always prepared”. (she would smirk if he heard me writing about her like this now).
She took the first aid kit and helped the guy with his bleeding arm. It was all she could do.
After the shaman saw my sister helping out the guy from his group, he asked us if we also wanted the waterfall energy cleansing to be done on us.
We thought,.. naaah, we are not such crazy tourists who are going to pay for such a thing. It’s soo touristy. However, out of curiosity, we asked how much is this?
And he said: it’s nothing. I’ll do it for you just the same way you did for my colleague. Just to say thank you.
The story goes… why the Shaman offered this to us? He did not have to. My sister helped the guy with the little wound with no interest of profit or special gratitude. Their verbal thank you would have been just ok. My sister had the first aid kit on her, the guy got wounded. Simple. No brainer.
We then found out, that the native Quechua tribe… does not have the word thank you in their language. (!) They believe that when someone does something good to you or friends or family, you need to give back, so the good spirit stays with you.
And this was the reason why the Shaman did the cleansing for us, with no interest in the profit. This was his thank you. Their tribe, does not say thank you meaninglessly. (Thanks, bye..) They give back to someone or something else.
So, when you can - give.
And one day, or one moment somebody’s thank you will come back to you.
It was 3 years ago, and I keep thinking about it. When great things happen to me, I think about this waterfall time. It also connects to what my grandfather always said when I was fighting over the bigger piece of cake with my cousins when we were kids:
"Kinga, kid remember! The greed will never serve you. The greedy people will never have anything."
So as the story goes, I trust that the one million dollar (or whatever it means to you) will come back to you one way or another. And most likely, your lessons of the power of thank you - will be learnt on the little known paths.
So if you have to choose your preference between giving and taking. What will you do now? And I want to leave you with one question to ponder on:
What do you think will happen when you thank and GIVE forward?