By: Joseph J. Mazzella
Growing up in my Grandma’s house as a boy was an experience that would shape me for the rest of my life. We were poor in everything but spirit, yet I learned so much about life there. My Mom, Dad, Nana, two brothers, and I were crowded into a home made from two old shanty cars and several built on rooms. I always knew what my next set of clothes would look like because I had seen my older brother wearing them the year before. I always knew what we were going to be eating in the winter, because I had weeded it in the garden during the summer. Still, I never felt poor. No king ever ate as good as we did on Sundays after church when Nana cooked her homemade meatballs, spaghetti, and freshly baked bread.
Even though we had so little I can still remember Dad, Mom, and Nana giving so much. We were always sharing with others. Everyone who visited us could expect a plate of spaghetti, or a mason jar of canned vegetables, or a flower pot full of fresh blossoms to be given to them. I can still remember the sparkle in Mom and Nana’s eyes whenever they passed something on to others. We never felt richer or more blessed than when we shared what God had given us. I learned early on that the greatest joy comes from giving rather than getting. Giving fills your heart with love. Giving fills your soul with God. Giving brings your spirit closer to Heaven.
Don’t be afraid to pass on your blessings, riches, gifts, and talents to others. That is why God gave them to you in the first place. Share everything you have. If you have a beautiful smile then pass it on. If you have a lovely laugh then pass it on. If you have a few extra dollars then pass them on. If you give great hugs then pass them on. If you have a special talent then share it with others. If you have a heart full of love then give it to everyone. No life is ever truly lived until it becomes a gift in itself, so make your whole life a gift to the world.