Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Is Giving Over-Rated?

I'm being serious! For the life of me, I don't understand why humans say "it is better to give than to receive."

Aren't they both important? If I don't receive, then how can someone else give? And when I do give, I don't find as big of a "gift" in giving to someone who isn't able to graciously receive my offering. I guess it's noble to give to someone who's indifferent or ungrateful--but is it better than graciously receiving from someone else?

Also, I think that giving too much can dilute the value of a gift. I'd rather have someone give me one rare but thoughtful gift than a whole bunch of tiny ceramic thingies I don't have space for (not to mention that my small kids demolish breakables). And I'd prefer if some folks would give to themselves sometimes, instead of dissipating their own energy by worrying so much about others. Why doesn't anyone talk about that?

The older I get, the more I think it's about being mindful of all of this stuff moving around than about which direction it's going. We give and receive all the time, with our presence, our energy, our attention and encouragement, our sincerity. Happiness in life depends on paying attention to that, and remembering that we're all connected and dependent on each other.

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