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The Buddha states there are three gifts you can give a person. The first is a material gift. Perhaps if someone is suffering you give them some money or food to help them, which is truly a wonderful thing. The second is know-how. The gift of know-how is one that eases suffering by teaching so a person can stand on their own two feet and support themselves. This is also a wonderful gift. But the third and greatest gift is the gift of non-fear.
Thich Nhat Hanh, the Vietnamese zen monk, peace activist and mindfulness teacher explains in the excerpt below (link) the gift of non-fear:
In 1991, I visited a friend in New York who was dying, Alfred Hassler. We had worked together in the peace movement for almost thirty years. Alfred looked as though he had been waiting for me to come before dying, and he died only a few hours after our visit. I went with my closest colleague, Sister Chan Khong (True Emptiness).
Alfred was not awake when we arrived. His daughter Laura tried to wake him up, but she couldn't. So I asked Sister Chan Khong to sing Alfred the Song of No Coming and No Going: "These eyes are not me, I am not caught by these eyes. This body is not me, I am not caught by this body. I am life without boundaries. I have never been born, I will never die." The idea is taken from the Samyutta Nikaya. She sang so beautifully, and I saw streams of tears running down the faces of Alfred's wife and children. They were tears of understanding, and they were very healing.
Suddenly, Alfred came back to himself. Sister Chan Khong began to practice what she had learned from studying the sutra The Teaching Given to the Sick. She said, "Alfred, do you remember the times we worked together?" She evoked many happy memories we had shared together, and Alfred was able to remember each of them. Although he was obviously in pain, he smiled. This practice brought results right away. When a person is suffering from so much physical pain, we sometimes can alleviate his suffering by watering the seeds of happiness that are in him. A kind of balance is restored, and he will feel less pain.
All the while, I was practicing massage on his feet, and I asked him whether he felt my hand on his body. When you are dying, areas of your body become numb, and you feel as if you have lost those parts of your body. Doing massage in mindfulness, gently, gives the dying person the feeling that he is alive and being cared for. He knows that love is there. Alfred nodded, and his eyes seemed to say, "Yes, I feel your hands. I know my foot is there."
Sister Chan Khong asked, "Do you know we learned a lot from you when we lived and worked together? The work you began, many of us are continuing to do. Please don't worry about anything." She told him many things like that, and he seemed to suffer less. At one point, he opened his mouth and said, "Wonderful, wonderful." Then, he sank back to sleep.
Before we left, we encouraged the family to continue these practices. The next day I learned that Alfred passed away just five hours after our visit. This was a kind of gift that belongs to the third category. If you can help people feel safe, less afraid of life, people, and death, you are practicing the third kind of gift.
The gift a Recruiter can give to their candidates and all the people they deal with on a daily basis encompass these three gifts. They can provide actual jobs, the know-how to get a job, but the third and least acknowledged gift is the gift of non-fear. Encouragement to those on the journey, encouragement to those trying to push through a fear. That fear might be unemployment, but it may be something else. I know that many Recruiters get caught up in the money side of the business. But I truly believe that you'll not REALLY enjoy this business until you see the opportunities you have to practice all three gifts.
So remember this next time you are asked to pay a referral fee. The reason the Buddha doesn't pay for referrals is because the Buddha has other gifts to give that are much greater. You also have the opportunity to give these gifts. If you are only seeing this business as one to exchange material gifts you are missing out on giving so much more.