November 13


Today's Quotation:

Giving and receiving are opposite sides of the same coin.  Receiving entails trust in our own value and our having respect for the giver.  By receiving we reinforce the giver and are ourselves supported and affirmed by the gift.  In this way we participate in life’s goodness and assist in its flourishing.  There are times in our lives when the only way we can give back is to receive.

Sallirae Henderson

Today's Meditation:

A question that I constantly ask my students whenever I have the opportunity is this:  What does it feel like when you've been able to give something to someone else or help someone else when they need it?  Invariably, they tell me that it's a very good feeling, very positive.  And then I ask them if they realize that if they don't let other people help them, they're denying those other people the opportunity to have that same positive feeling.

Somehow, many of us have developed the idea that to take from others is a sign of weakness, or is an imposition on others.  And I suppose there are those people in the world who are going to try to make us feel indebted to them for any bit of help they might give us.  But for the most part, people like to help others simply for the sake of helping, and if we don't allow ourselves to receive, then we're pulling ourselves out of one of the greatest cycles on this planet-- that of giving and receiving-- and keeping others from being a part of that very important cycle.

Giving is extremely important to the world.  When done well, with no expectation of any sort of obligation on the receiver, giving is one of the most positive types of action that we can take.  The love and compassion inherent in selfless giving is something that spreads, that grows, that affects others in very uplifting ways.  Goodness can grow only if we allow it to be expressed, and if we refuse to receive, for whatever reasons our minds or egos give us, we're keeping that expression of love from thriving.

Receiving isn't a sign of weakness.  Taking a loan or accepting help with some sort of project is a beautiful thing, and we all can contribute to the goodness in the world by allowing ourselves to accept from others, and allowing others to give to us.

Questions to ponder:

1.  Where do most of our ideas about giving and receiving come from?

2.  Why is it so hard for many of us to allow ourselves to take from others?

3.  What would the world be like if we all were in the habit of giving and receiving freely, without the constant worry of "paying someone back"?

For further thought:

To receive a present handsomely and in a right spirit, even when you have none to give in return, is to give one in return.

Leigh Hunt



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