Give: A Guide to Discovering the Joy of Everyday Giving
Linda R. Harper, Ph.D.
Review by Taryn Fryer
I wanted to read Give in order to learn how to give more authentically. In many ways the book was what I expected in terms of learning to give according to your values and to give freely in every sense of the word. Had that been all there was, I would have been satisfied with the book and then put it down and promptly forgotten about it.
This book rose above my expectations for two main reasons. The first of these was the importance of giving to oneself. I think many people, myself included, tend to put self-nurturing last on their ever increasing to-do lists. What Ms Harper does beautifully is to challenge this notion that “spoiling” ourselves is somehow wanton. She reminds, or in some cases teaches, us that only when we are kind to ourselves, when we allow ourselves time to replenish and heal and even maybe have a little pampering are we in any way able to give to others. And the better we treat ourselves, the better we will be equipped to give to others. I found this to be a very powerful message and one that I have already started to incorporate into my daily habits.
The book also looks at various types of inauthentic giving and that’s where it started to get uncomfortable. I certainly recognized some of the not-so-pleasant aspects of my personality in one of the types, and it was not entirely pleasant reading! Whilst I identified a lot more with one of the types, there were ideas and suggestions that resonated with me in each of the chapters. By saying this was an uncomfortable read, by no means am I implying any criticism of the book. When I read these types of books, I want to be made uncomfortable, to be provoked, to have my actions challenged (albeit gently, which is exactly how Ms Harper does it) as it is these feelings that can provide the impetus for lasting change.
On the strength of this book, I will definitely read more by Ms Harper . . . On an Amazon style review, I would give this 4 stars.