This is the month of gift giving. For many of us, material gifts are top of mind. Shoot, even thinking when I was trying to drum up a topic for this week, I could have easily penned a blog about the best unique Greek online vendors to patron. Now that I think about that, I might save that for a later post, however, that’s not what’s sitting on my heart.
While meditating on the “reason of the season”, I realized that the greatest forms of gifts are presented in unsuspecting ways. As I brainstormed a way to draft a non-cheesy yet inspiring post, these key concepts stood out to me: gift your purpose, gift your support.
gIFT YOUR PURPOSE
Earlier this year, I was going back and forth trying to figure out what my purpose was and questioning how I could use my skill sets to fully support my dream. It seemed like many of my peers where coming into success by actively pursing their dreams by any means necessary and any means possible. Whether it was attending grad school, traveling, quitting their jobs to start their own business, learning extra skills or taking time to refocus their efforts on more valuable things, they were doing it. Come rain or shine, there were no f’s given for excuses or “trying”; just doing. They were making moves intentionally and whole-hardheartedly because . I wanted to do that too. So rather than becoming jealous of what was happening in their lives, I used them as a blueprint for my inspiration.
As a way to mitigate my quarter life crisis, I started DPTaughtMe on a dollar and a dream, almost literally – no J.Cole and no joke. I knew I wanted to encourage Greek & non Greek Millennials to be the best proactive and creative leaders they could possibly be by providing strategic, candid and introspective advice on how we can do that in an innovative and communal manner. I honestly didn’t know how this blog would be received but I decided to fuel my passion and prayed that it would touch someone in a profound way…and it did.
We touched on heavily Greek related topics like how to treat our LGBTQ members, the stigma centered around pledging/dropping line, to admitting to not liking folks on your line. We also explored more general topics such as tips for getting ahead after graduation, the insight traveling provides, how to be a better friend, and recently, embracing hard situations during trying times. Throughout the year, I have received text messages, emails, phone calls, etc. from friends and strangers who were tuning in and I didn’t even know it was happening. Somehow, someway, something I was saying and/or doing resonated with them and rang true to their experiences. My audience not only adopted the stories as their own, but they began to invite others into this community to swap narratives, discuss thoughts and impart wisdom to each other. Some of my DPTM family even said they were encouraged to commence their “Live the Dream” journey after reading some of the articles. It brought me to tears, because at that moment, that’s when I knew that I found something golden. Gifting my purpose served as a catalyst for others to become the person that they’ve always wanted to be, just like my friends (unbeknownst to them) had done for me. And that was one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever given or received.
GIFT YOUR SUPPORT
The other day I was speaking with an extremely talented friend of mine who was going through a really tough time. While we were speaking, he posed a very powerful yet puzzling question: “Why do you do that?” His statement referred to the support I give him despite our once up & down history and the things some naysayers say about him. I gave a long explanation as to why I rock with him, but one thing I said kinda startled me, ” There are way more people FOR you in your corner who see the greatness in you that I see than there are people who see otherwise.” As the words left my mouth, I realized how true that was for me as well.
It’s so easy to focus on what we’re not doing, what we don’t have, who we are not, rather than emphasizing the positive lying within AND around us. When listening to our own self doubt, comparing ourselves to others and banking on society’s definition of success, we sometimes fall into this pool of unworthiness that drowns our ambition, our energy and our ability to dream big. However, when we have a crew of people that uplift us, keep it 100% trill and invest in our aspirations, we are better people because of it. Gifting your support is one of the greatest gifts you could ever give. During this time, we all try to be cheerful givers, but sometimes it doesn’t add up to monetary or material gains. Giving constructive feedback to a friend’s business idea, emailing study resources to someone studying for their GMAT, tagging someone in a hilarious #BlackTwitter meme when you know their having a crappy day, that’s all support that is greatly needed in this world. Reminding someone of their personal glory God’s given them can do wonders.
When I dipped my toes into this blogasphere world, I was worried that I wouldn’t get that much play. I’m talking about straight swerve action. I mean, let’s face it. I don’t have all the glitz and glamour of other platforms that post the “fun” topics like probates, step shows, perp alerts and what not. However, my squad, my squad, my squad. My online family has served as ambassadors for the narrative I’m trying to relay. Ruminating the impact of simple advocacy, I realized had it not been for their (or moreso “your”) support this year, I would have thought this blog was a bust. But you invested in me. You encouraged me. You held my hand and a big ol poster asking people to check out this stuff, and I eternally thank you for it. This has been one of my biggest blessings and I wouldn’t trade my web woes for anyone else.
gIFT of God
As we head into the next chapter of our lives, I would like to leave you with 9 amazing scriptures that will not only inspire you to live out your dream, but will hopefully help you encourage others to do the same! I hope that these two things will allow you to elevate yourself, your chapter and your organization as a whole as we strive towards exceeding the expectations our Founders have set for us.
And know this, at all times God is for you and you can do ANYTHING with him. Mk?! Don’t forget that! I love you guys!
29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.
29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
1 Corinthians 12:4-7
4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. 7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
17 Iron sharpens iron,
and one man sharpens another.[a]
6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; 7 if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; 8 the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads,[a] with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
9 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! 11 Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? 12 And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
1 Timothy 4:14-16
14 Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. 15 Practice these things, immerse yourself in them,[a] so that all may see your progress. 16 Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.
1 peter 4:10
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.
16 A man’s gift makes room for him
and brings him before the great.