Do Not Stop Giving

I attended a memorial service yesterday of a friend and a business partner. Kim Anderson’s body gave in to a battle with cancer that had lasted nearly four years. Before then, she served to develop the Lincoln-Douglas Debate program for thousands of participants nationwide in the nonprofit I run. She was a very smart and learned lady, one who knew depths of life from which I gleaned. I’d like to share one of those depths with you.

Pictured: Kim Anderson coaching at a Training Minds Camp in 2007.

Kim and I coached side by side and published quite a few books together. Back in the day, she was the go-to coach for everything Lincoln-Douglas. Students demanded much from her, and Kim consistently delivered. Neither of us made much money at all at it, but we loved every second of it. Those were good years!

You’d think our own kids would be the stellar champions, but they weren’t. I recalled her daughters missing slots to Nationals by a hair. Her son’s tripod fell over in the middle of one of his opportunities to qualify in an expository speaking event. My kids suffered the same limitations. One barely missed a shot to Nationals with a duo by one ballot. Several of my children missed Nationals – on the edge of success, but not quite enough.

See, sometimes giving to the greater community creates deficits in those you should be serving most: your own family. Therein lies a haunting thought, one that I believe I shared with Kim. Perhaps if we stopped giving so much to others, we’d have just a little more time to push our own kids over the finish line.

But people like Kim just kept on giving. She encouraged me many times when – I hate to admit – I was feeling envious of the champions. Training Minds has a track record that is admired by my market of academic debaters, so it was a strange jealousy. Sometimes my very students – other people’s kids – got more from me than my own children. It’s one of those frustrating things inherent in public service or ministry.

Kim continued to give all the way to her last breath. It was in her blood, and her legacy was evident among the countless number of young people who came to her service yesterday. Including her children – all fine young adults with hearts of gold. So many people were on the receiving end of Kim’s giving heart.

Do you get what I’m saying? I bet you do, especially if you are in the business of giving. You may sometimes think that you should stop, look out for number one for a while, turn inward. Kim encouraged me to resist that temptation. Keep giving. You’ll receive soon enough. The blessings will come and you’ll encourage those around you in unseen ways.

Keep giving. Don’t worry about receiving. Trust that it will take care of itself, because it will. [Tweet This]

She lost to cancer in the end, but she sang herself into heaven with love and joy around her. She died a very blessed woman. I’d argue that she did it right: she gave first, and she ended up receiving far more.

Are you a debater? Join me in Colorado in July for the Training Minds Camp!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • she was a wonderful friend to you and you were blessed for knowing her – i like it 🙂 nothing but good memories!

    • Thanks Alice! She was a huge influence on the blessings we enjoy today.

  • Bill Roach

    “I’d argue that she did it right: she gave first, and she ended up receiving far more.”
    Chris, this is one of those rare times that you win the Debate without a Round, a Cross Examination by the Negative, a Negative Constructive, or a Negative Rebuttal!
    The Memorial Service was a gift from God. Best Video/Slide Presentation I have ever seen at one. Her gifts live on in those who loved her most.
    We will miss her.
    Bill Roach

    • I so agree! The slideshow was a treasure. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the place.

  • Jacqi Stevens

    Chris, I was reading your blog post for today, and this post came up on the recommended reading thumbnails below it.

    What a wonderful tribute to Kim. She was such a gem. I’d almost say what a loss to the debate community but God does all things well, and He knew what He was doing at that moment, as always. We have to trust that.

    Who can say why some students miss by a hair’s breadth? I’ve certainly admired–and balloted with gusto!–some of the rounds of your own children. As a parent, I’ve had that disheartening feeling myself, wondering what, in that multitude of variables, might have gone wrong–what one variable, re-jiggered correctly, would produce the magic formula for victory.

    There is no magic formula, except, maybe, grace.

    Regardless, we do what we can, passing along what we can to help the community, to be a blessing to others. Sometimes, award ceremonies aren’t concluded when we thought they were scheduled.

    • Your note is very kind. Thank you so much, Jacqi. We both have learned much in the speech and debate community!