Thanks and Giving
Thanks & Giving
The time has come yet again of celebrating the time honored tradition of ThanksGiving. A typical fun fall time tradition of saying “Thanks” and stuffing yourself with gastronomic delights with friends and family. The holiday has really a double meaning. True that it literally means “to give thanks” however this time I decided to interpret it as two separate entities. ” ThanksGiving”= thanks and giving. Sure we can and should be filled with gratitude and give “thanks” to not only friends and family and always remember the kindness of others such as the Native Americans who provided food and shelter to the starving pilgrims to the New World at a time of need. Yet I would submit that it is a great time to bring in the concept of simply giving. This simple act of giving of oneself unconditionally unto another brings with it its own rewards of gratitude and satisfaction.
Giving can become manifest in infinite forms and certainly not limited to materialistic gifts. Giving unconditional love to another human being, with no desire to ever see it given back to you at that instant. Helping yet another with random acts of kindness is also a part of giving of oneself such as a sincere polite smile to a passerby, a gracious hello to a not so social coworker, holding the door for a perfect stranger, giving away your coveted parking spot to another random car, paying for a coffee for the next person behind you in line, or paying for the toll of the car behind you. Giving your precious time is another fun concept. Time to spend with a little child who is making some wildly imaginary project with household pots and pans as you become “their” assistant or as you give your time to help read to the children’s story time at a sick ward at the local children hospital or spend the time to help an angry troubled teen sort out their emotions and choices, or yet again spend time silently with an elder just to have them heard, or even give away your time to educate or mentor someone in a field of your own proficiency.
Giving and receiving are two sides of the same coin. Two opposites of the same rope that is constantly in a state of a tug. If one does not give, one does not receive. If you are thrifty, miserly, and unyielding in your inability to share, then that is what you will receive in return. If you give from a place of love, it will be received with gratitude as that is the only way it can be energetically thrust forward. Giving with compassion will be received with compassion. Giving with less burdened heart will be received by another with sincerity and joy. It is your ego that gets in the way and expects immediate gratification from that same person, and if promptly disappointed, then it scorns the other person for being “ungrateful”, ” inconsiderate”, ” useless” etc. essentially a flood of unnecessary emotions and reactions.
No one in their right mind (minus the ego) is emotionally disturbed when they “give” The moment you are involved in the act of giving you are actually receiving happiness as the very physics of giving, unloads you so that you are now in a state of receiving, and ergo you receive more of that which you have given. Nature abhors a vacuum. Give away clothes to help the under privileged, you receive an abundance of clothes, give away time to help someone, then some other person unbeknownst to you shows up to help you with an entirely different problem or issue. Give a person flowers with love, your own compassion and soul blooms with love. Feeling lighter after giving of oneself with selflessness, consideration, compassion and gratitude fills the momentary void with feelings of empowered, renewed, rejuvenated, and so equipped to tackle anything, anywhere, anytime or anyone. Giving also can be towards oneself inward and not just to another person outward. You can “give up” and in doing so receive only ” getting down”, or you can “give down- to a lower state of need” and in doing so receive “getting up” and you move to a higher level of your own consciousness. The mental and spiritual freedom that is derived from when you give, affords you the luxury of freedom to give more and the receiving of inherent freedom.
Giving just like attitudes can become quite infectious. Yet what if all your positive actions of giving lead to an equal tug of positive reactions, and is carried forward, then perhaps the circle of life is big enough that you too will see the effects of your selfless giving as you end up at the receiving end. Think of this Thanks Giving holiday as a wonderful practice of the art of giving just in time to get ready for the even bigger event of Christmas and the excitement and revelations that that particular holiday brings round the corner, but that is another story !
Wishing you a wonderful day, Thanks for giving, and for giving Thanks.
Have you given enough or have you more than enough given?