“Intense love does not measure, it just gives.”
Fifty years ago, the world was blessed with Shel Silverstein’s literary wonder The Giving Tree. Beloved by millions worldwide, this tiny green book made its way into the classrooms and hearts of children everywhere.
The Giving Tree not only taught us about the beauty of generosity, but it also taught us about the depths of unconditional love.
Here Are 8 Deeply Beautiful Truths We Learned From The Giving Tree
1. When We Truly Give To Another, Our Only Wish Is For Their Happiness
When we truly give to another, it’s not to get something in return. The Giving Tree gave time and time again to the young boy throughout its life, and its only desire was for him to be happy.
2. There Is Always Something You Can Give
Even the most simple and ordinary among us have something they can give to enrich the lives of others. The Giving Tree loved the boy so much that, even as a stump, it found a way to serve the boy. We may only have one dollar, but when we truly love another we would give away that dollar to see them become happy.
3. Say Please, Say Thank You, Acknowledge Kindness And Try Not To Take Advantage
The boy keeps asking The Giving Tree for help in the fable, yet each time asking and after receiving, he innocently walks off without saying please or thank you to the tree. This is a great lesson to teach our children; to be aware of the value of what others give us, and to say please when asking and thank you when receiving.
The boy also asks so much of the tree at different times of his life, that the tree is left completely cut down, remaining just as a stump; “happy… but not really.” It’s important to remember when asking and receiving from others, to try not to take so much from them that it would reduce their happiness.
4. There’s No Such Thing As “Enough” For Those Who Always Want More
One of the biggest truths contained within The Giving Tree is the lesson that those who always desire for more are usually never happy or satisfied in life. The grass is always greener on the other side. When we finally get that speedboat, then we’re unhappy until we get a yacht. Being in a constant state of inner desire for outer things leaves us feeling dissatisfied with how things presently are. Yet happiness is always found by appreciating and being grateful for what we already have, in this present moment. The Giving Tree teaches us that letting go and giving brings one more happiness than constantly desiring and constantly wanting does.
5. Those Who Love Us Become Sad When We Don’t Visit Them For A Long Time, But Become Happy As Soon As They See Us
Each time the boy leaves The Giving Tree, he is gone for a long time, and the tree becomes sad and lonely. Yet each time he returns, even after a long while, the tree is overjoyed to see him again. Remember to stay in touch with the people who love you, and try to understand how they feel when you’re apart.
6. Unconditional Love And Self-Sacrifice Are Truly Beautiful Acts
Much of the beauty of The Giving Tree is that the tree gives endlessly to the boy because it loves him so dearly. When one sacrifices their own happiness in order to provide happiness for another, it is one of the greatest acts of love. The tree nearly lays down its life for the little boy whom it loves. This deep lesson serves as much of the profound meaning which draws people to love The Giving Tree.
7. Reflect On How Blessed You Are In Your Life
When reflecting on just how blessed we are in this life; to eat delicious apples, to have relationships with wonderful people, to have a home, to be able to travel, and to have somewhere to rest, our hearts can understand just how good this life really is. By recognizing how good we have it, we become filled with gratitude and are truly thankful for life.
We also learn to slow down, to not be in a hurry, and to simply just enjoy the moment. By reflecting on our situation, we can also begin to truly value the people in our lives and how much they do for us.
8. Unconditional Love Will Do And Give Anything To See You Be Happy
Unconditional love, be it from a parent, a loved one, or from the deep well of tender and soft love within your heart, it would truly give anything for us to be happy. Even when asking too much, thanking too little, and taking just about everything, unconditional love still loves us just as sweetly as when we were a child, and always will.
Did you learn something while reading The Giving Tree at some point in your life?
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