Monday, January 11, 2010

Gift Giving vs. "Gift Being"

Often, the US can come across as a kind of benevolent and capricious Santa figure. We ostentatiously dole out the gifts, but you have to be "good" to get them...good as determined by some parental formula of behaving according to "our" standards.

When it comes to children that I've worked with in South Africa, that expectation of generosity from individual US citizens can be the same.

At Infinite Family, we tell the children and their mentors that we believe "The Gift is YOU". The gift of time, attention, shared laughter, insight and experience are the gifts we bring to one another across the thousands of miles that separate us...all through using the gift of video technology.

The children understand this. They like the idea of being a gift to someone. As a weekly gift to their mentor, they inspire in surprising ways. They bring delight. They bring their willingness to love and be loved by a stranger so far away.

And so, the children of Infinite Family don't generally ask for anything...except your being...your being with them in their journey of growing up and becoming a gift to the world.

These relationships transform more than individual lives...they change perspective. A perspective change that says something about the US as a nation.

By "being with" someone through the process of mentoring, we make a statement that "we believe in you". We believe that by walking with you, we will witness your success, your blossoming into the best you can be.

Instead of holding up a yardstick by which someone is measured, mentoring holds up a mirror and helps you measure yourself by your own expectations and hopes.

So, during January, National Mentoring Month, we encourage everyone to give a gift, by being a gift. We hope you will consider giving your gift through Infinite Family.

Visit our website at to be a gift or give a gift.

Infinite Family. Infinite Possibilities.

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