The Giving TreeShel Silverstein's book, The Giving Tree, has blown me away.

Do you know this story?

It begins with a care-free, generous, and innocent boy playing with a tree every day. The tree loves the boy so much that she freely gives her apples to eat, her leaves to play with, her shade for rest, and her branches to embrace.

The boy and the tree are happy. They love each other. But … time passes. The boy gets a girlfriend and doesn't come around much anymore. As he grows into a man, this once generous and playful boy only comes back to the giving tree when he needs something.

First he wants to “buy things and have fun,” asking the tree for money. Of course, the tree has no money, but offers her apples so the boy can sell them in the city. She desperately wants to see him happy.

Then the (now grown-up) boy comes back, “too busy to climb trees.” He says, “I want a wife and I want children, and so I need a house. Can you give me a house?” The giving tree says that he can cut down her branches to build a house. Then he will be happy, right?

The man stays away until he's much older. He comes back to tell the tree, “I am too old and sad to play. I want a boat that will take me far away from here. Can you give me a boat?” So the giving tree lets him cut down her trunk and says, “Then you can sail away … and be happy.”

At this point of the book I've lost it and I'm crying. Heck, I'm crying right now just typing this.

This selfless giving and ruthless taking contrast plays itself out billions of times every day. In financial transactions. In household responsibilities. In conversations between friends.

Yet, I have so many people in my life who are giving trees and I try to be one big giving tree for others too. There are ways to flip the scarcity-seeing, always taking mindset into an abundance-filled, constantly giving mindset.

That's what this episode is about: how you can be a giving tree.

There were no waterworks as I recorded the episode, but I hope you'll feel the raw emotion nonetheless. Hear how I've channeled my sorrow at the way things are into a hopeful message about the way things can be.

You're about to Learn …

  • Some rewarding ways to practice self-compassion and self-care.
  • What to get everyone for Christmas without using your wallet.
  • How to ask a new question about what we desire.
  • Why you should join me for Free Money Day on September 15, 2015.
  • How asking other people for help can be a generous act.
  • Ways to stick it to mindless, consumer-driven, advertising-dependent companies.

Resources and Items Mentioned in This Episode:


  • [01:49] SimpleREV 2014 update
  • [04:25] My personal experience with The Giving Tree
  • [06:15] Who my giving trees are
  • [09:28] How to combat the “taking tree” mentality
  • [17:37] Ways to be a (self) giving tree

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The transcript will not be available until I find a new transcriptionist (if you know someone good, let me know).

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