November 9, 2017
As we enter the “season of giving,” I begin to think about the relationship between giving and receiving. And I think they are both necessary practices in the flow of life’s abundance.
I have been present in a number of situations where comfortably well-off people have been eager to help the “less fortunate.” I have also seen numerous examples of people who had very little who wanted to give something to those who had plenty.
In those situations, I have watched the “haves” refuse gifts from the “have-nots,” because it “doesn’t feel right.” And I have seen people (and been one myself!) who have a hard time receiving, in general, and would much rather always be the giver – whether it be giving materially, giving care, or otherwise.
Yet Archbishop Helder Camera said, “No one is so poor that they cannot give, nor so rich that they cannot receive.”
Being willing to receive from others offers them dignity and worth, no matter their life circumstances. It creates an environment of healthy community and reciprocal relationships. It keeps abundance flowing. When we receive, we give a gift to the giver: The gift of allowing them to help us, to give to us, to be needed.
Lama Surya Das says, “It’s often just as important to receive with an open heart as it is to give.” I invite you to join us this Sunday, as we explore the topic of giving and receiving.
Much love and deep gratitude,