We have reached the end of November and its theme of kindness. I am so blessed to have kindness first thing each morning when my husband brings me a cup of steaming fresh coffee and my angel dog Barney to enjoy while I write.
I listened to a talk yesterday by a minister friend on the topic of giving and receiving. Both are essential, just as the inhale and exhale of breath are. We cannot give if there is no one to receive. As Whitman says, when we make giving a habit, we want to do more of it. It feels good. But the circulation, the complete flow, requires a gracious receiver.
I love to give, but I have a couple of pet peeves relative to receivers. One is when I offer a compliment, and the recipient diminishes it rather than simply saying "thank you." For example, "I really like how you've decorated this room," and the reply, "Oh, it's just some stuff I picked up at the thrift store." Another is the "now I'll have to get even" mentality. That's when, given a gift, the recipient mentally notes the need to return an item of similar value, in order to keep the relationship balanced. I can register this in their personal vibes, and it's annoying. It diminishes any gift and the love behind it.
Another of my pet peeves is the hostess gift. If I invite you to my home, please don't bring me stuff, no matter how well-intentioned. I don't need more stuff, and those gifts feel as though they are given in obligation, to be a "good guest." If I invite you, I know you will be a good guest. You don't need to give me stuff to prove it. The only exceptions to this are chocolate or Nifty Nut goodies. 😉😉 Just kidding.
Give thoughtfully, receive graciously.