A reflection on expectations of gifts.


At Christmas time, when my son was only 2 he would be terribly excited with his boxed gifts. He would stand tall next to his gift and rip apart the paper. He would revel in wrapping for a few minutes and open the container. He would peer inside, turnout all the contents and then proceed to play with the empty box. That would bring him great joy, keeping him busy for hours. Total merriment without apparent expectation.


As we get older we have different expectations and comparisons. We want to be surprised by the gift. We desire the magic of getting what we want and what we need. Yet deployed soldiers get their own “surprise” when they are told that they would have to spend the holidays away from home and loved ones, in far off lands. We forget that the price of freedom is sacrifice.


People living in war torn countries are living in dire situations, and the only gift that they would want is safety, clean water, medical care, food, or clothing and the return of their loved ones who died blamelessly. But they get more grief. The poor child who wants love and expects to not be hurt yet is disappointed with pain. Our expectations depend on what we value.


During the holidays, birthdays, celebrations, festivities, we create expectations and when they fall short through perceived unmet needs, we compare our lives to those of others. Yet how often do we forget the little gift of life, and especially the gift of each other. We put all our attention on the material and even less on being alive. Why do they call a gift a present? It is perhaps because by simply being present to the wonder of life around us that we are offered the greatest gift there is.


It is when we do not have something that we begin to expect, then get defeated, that we turn off our ability to receive the magic of the holiday spirit which in my opinion is about witnessing the balance of life. Nothing occurs in isolation. Sacrifice and freedom, pain and pleasure, grief and relief.


We are invited each day to learn to expect LIFE, receive LOVE, engage in LAUGHTER. It is human nature to desire more. It is our birthright to want to grow and evolve as does all parts of nature. When we are grateful for what we get, we are able to manifest more. The only true gifts to humanity during each morning is the light of love, and in each night, the hope of tomorrow.




I love you

Author: Brown Knight

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