Give unconditionally without expectations

Giving in the hope of receiving isn’t giving, it’s lending; and when you lend you’re at great risk of not being paid back.

More than 25 years ago I had a painful and frustrating experience which made me understand that only when you give to others unconditionally and without expectations do you really receive. Otherwise, all you’ll receive is disillusion.

Tomaticas was a girl who I rescued from a Bogotá sewer and who quickly stopped taking drugs and became a sweet, studious child as well as a great companion. I felt like the happiest man in the world to see how she had escaped from the claws of vice and become an exemplary child. She was my favourite and I spoilt her rotten.

After 3 years in the Children of the Andes Foundation, she met the supposed love of her life who led her once more to drugs, the street and the world of darkness. Shortly after she was left lame by a fight and her life became a hell once more. 

I spent a long time looking for her, until one day I found her in a decrepit Bogotá street where large numbers of destitute people lived. She was in such a lamentable state that I hardly recognised her. I was totally stunned; I couldn’t believe nor except what I was seeing. That she wanted to stay there even though I offered to take her with me caused me great pain; I felt frustrated and powerless. I didn’t understand how it was possible that she preferred to stay in that horrible place, and with tears in my eyes turned and walked away, carrying a deep sadness and an empty space in my heart. 

This lesson from life made me understand that I couldn’t expect anything from anyone. That the only person who could change her destiny was Tomaticas, if she chose correctly. I understood that all I could do was to hold out a friendly hand to whoever wanted to take it, and give a bit of light, love and peace while they were at my side. From that day on I’ve given up on making conditions and having expectations even of my own biological children Esteban and Alejandra.