December 8

Giving presents is a talent;
to know what a person wants,
to know when and how to get it,
to give it lovingly and well.

Pamela Glenconner


Today's Meditation:

Giving is an important element of life--it's something that can give us great satisfaction, can make us feel better about ourselves, and can make other people in our lives feel very positive about life and living in general.  It's a shame, though, that we often put little thought into what we give, or that we so often give what we think a person should want instead of what would really make the person happy. 

As Pamela says, gift-giving is definitely a talent, and I see this truth when I encounter someone who's really, really good at it.  There are many people who have gift-giving down to an art, and those people light the way for the rest of us.  These are people who really listen when people tell them what they want; they pay attention to who the person is, and they aren't swayed by what they think the person should be.  I want to be like that--I want to see the people I love in their true light, and be able to give them gifts that they'll truly enjoy and appreciate, not gifts that they'll have to be polite about and thank me for even if the gifts aren't really what they wanted or can use.

Pamela's words are about paying attention to the people in our lives.  Getting to know them.  Understanding them.  Listening to them when they speak.  Watching them live their lives to see their likes and dislikes.  And not imposing our own likes and dislikes on others.  Sometimes it may even mean giving a gift that we never thought we'd give to someone else, simply because we know that the person would really like it.

When we give "lovingly and well," we share our love with others.  We tell another person that we've cared enough to pay attention and to get to know them.  And what better message can we give to important people in our lives?

Questions to consider:

Why do we so often tend to put so little thought into our gift-giving?

How might we learn more about what our loved ones truly want, and how we might give that to them? 

How would you feel if someone were to give you just the right gift at just the right time?  Is that a feeling you'd like to give to someone else? 

For further thought:

When I think of giving as an art. . . I pour more of myself into
giving.  I tune in to ways I can support others and give
meaningful gifts that will delight the receiver.  Divine ideas
come to mind as I shift my focus away from "things" to
the art of true giving.  As I write a letter to a friend with
whom I've lost contact or give an encouraging smile
to a struggling stranger, I know that just what is needed
is mine to give.  I am inspired to give more as new creative
expressions of giving come to mind.  Knowing that the
circle of giving is also receiving, I am grateful
for all that I give and all that I receive.

unattributed, The Daily Word

More on giving.


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