How good are you at giving?
And just how open are you to receiving?
As a lot of people around the world celebrates thanksgiving week, I am marking this special time with a series of articles.
This is the second in my series of 5 special posts for thanksgiving week.
Check out the first post here
Thanksgiving Week Lesson 1 – How To Embrace What You Already Have
Being based in the UK, I am not that familiar with the celebration of thanksgiving but I really love the whole concept of sharing with your loved ones and expressing your gratitude for all the goodness in your life.
From what I understand, part of this tradition of thanksgiving is to give and receive gifts.
It is therefore important to learn to give and also to receive. And the second of my series of 5 articles for thanksgiving week is all about giving and receiving – and how to become really good at both.
Do you look to help others in any way you can?
Or do you tend to look out just for yourself?
Most cultures and religions emphasise that life is all about giving. You reap what you sow, and by being generous and sharing your goodness is how you become happier.
We have a choice in how we behave towards others – we can be generous, considerate and caring to the people around us. Or we can be mean, self-centred and petty.
Every human interaction is an opportunity for giving and receiving a gift, such as love, friendship, honesty, support, thoughtfulness, generosity, humour and fun.
When you give to another, you receive the blessings of what you have given them – such as pleasure, satisfaction and joy.
What goes around comes around, and once you put the balance cycle of giving and receiving in action, you will receive as surely as you give.
Receiving is just as important as giving.
At the same time, be open to receiving. If everyone was giving, and no one was receiving, to whom would we be giving?
Recognize that by being open to receiving, you are giving the other person an opportunity to be blessed by their giving. It is a great thing to give… and to receive.
I recently heard Sadhguru Vasudev explain in one of his discourses that it was far important to receive than to give. We have all this goodness around us – and if we don’t acknowledge and accept it, what’s the very point of our existence?!
Most people are better at giving than receiving – and this thanksgiving, learn to receive openly and graciously. If someone gives you a gift or even a compliment, just say thank you.
There is so much you can do every day in terms of receiving and giving.
For example, every time you meet someone, ask yourself – what can I do for this person? A sincere compliment or even just acknowledging their presence can make a huge difference to them – and you.
Do not confuse giving compliments with flattery. Compliments should be positive, sincere and focused on achievements. For example – “You look radiant today. You must really be taking good care of yourself”.
In any situation, ask yourself – how can I help? How can I contribute here?
In the same way that bees contribute to the pollination of flowers, what can you do to help others blossom?
Here are some simple ways you can begin to contribute to the people you meet every day.
1. Just smile!
Smile – and see how others respond.
Give someone the gift of your smile and kindness. It is amazing how easily you can uplift someone with a smile.
2. Help someone lost or in some trouble.
Look for the proverbial damsel in distress. Even giving directions to a lost tourist will lift your spirits.
In our society today, it’s come to a point when we are almost too scared to even ashamed to get involved.
Remember the silent people – and why you should not be one of them.
3. Help someone just to make their life easier.
For example, next time you are in a traffic queue, give way to other motorists. Count the number of times each day that you do something for others simply to help them.
4. Make a monetary contribution to a good cause.
Nowadays there are so many worthy causes clamouring for our loose change, such as the Haiti earthquake or the Pakistan flood appeals. But you will be surprised how far a little change can go.
Know that whatever you give does ultimately make a difference. And you have a vast number of charitable organisations to choose from – do your research and choose the one that appeals the most to you.
5. Say something positive to at least 3 people every day.
This could be your neighbour, a work colleague or the newsagent.
The opportunities of brightening up someone’s day are endless once you begin to look out for them.
6. Recommend someone’s services or products.
Help other people grow through your recommendations and look for opportunities for connecting people.
A lot of business is done through personal recommendations and we all know someone who is excellent at what they do. Recommend that plumber or decorator who did such a great job for you.
Or simply get like minded people together. Hook up people who you feel may have some synergies.
7. Talk in glowing terms about someone to a third person.
Instead of gossiping and “bitching”, stop and get in to the habit of only saying positive things about other people.
I recently found myself gossiping about a neighbour to a friend and stopped myself just in time. Clearly I still have some way to go too.
The trick I have learnt is to imagine that the person being talked about can actually hear what I might say about them!
8. Acknowledge at least three people daily.
This could be by sending them a greeting card or a “thank you” note, telephoning or emailing. Perhaps an sms text message. Do something for them which you know they will appreciate.
Three people might seem like stretching it a bit, but once you get into the habit, it does get easier – and becomes fun too.
Saying thanks is for everyday, not just thanksgiving!
Remember, you are a gift bearer and a gift receiver in every relationship. And the key to creating the life you love is contribution.
Make this thanks giving week, the week when you truly begin to contribute and give.
Make contribution to others a life long mission – your life will change dramatically and your interactions with other people will become more satisfying, enjoyable and fun.
Make it Thanksgiving Day, every day!
Have a wonderful life of giving and receiving.
Now please share how you give and receive in your life
Also check out the other article in my series of 5 articles for thanksgiving:-
Thanksgiving Week Lesson 1 – How To Embrace What You Already Have
Images courtesy of woodleywonderworks and aussiegall
This is such a beautiful post. he gestures, the pictures and the comic at the end, all made my heart melt and in the end even giggle a bit at the comic 🙂
Such superb suggestion on how to infuse our life with giving and receiving…cause in giving without an agenda, we shall recieve ten fold.
My fav is #7! Talking in glowing terms is so perfectly beautiful. I love how it makes me feel all glowy too. Halo style 😉
But its true….why waste time “bitching” and garnering negative karma…when you can speak in glowing beautiful terms and get back, from unseen places.
Such a beautiful post….I love it so much..I think you deserve a HUG!
Lots of love,
p.s. you are such a beautiful soul….:)
Zeenat, what a beautiful comment!
As you say by giving without an agenda, we get so much back:-)
May your halo glow forever:-)
Love and blessings.
What a wonderful reminder of the cycle of relationships!
I’m learning (or, rather, re-learning) that the most important of our relationships is with ourselves, and it can be one of the hardest for us to both give and receive.
I usually walk through stores, putting something in the cart that I *want* rather than need… but by the tIme I get to the check-out line, I’ve removed it. It’s hard for me to give to myself because I’m so other-focused.
I also don’t receive well from myself. To receive a compliment is the worst. I have affirmations taped in three conspicuous places in my apartment to work on this.
When we’re codependent or have low self-esteem, giving and receiving with ourselves can be our most difficult challenge.
Welcome to my blog again:-)
As you say, the most important of our relationships is with ourselves.
and it can be one of the hardest things for us to receive.
I too used to have affrimations taped in my home – and they really are effective. I would say keep at it and everyday you will build on the previous day.
Wishing you all the best for this thanksgiving.
Lovely post Arvind.
I especially like the part about receiving . Besides being essential and important in an individual sense to be comfortable with receiving – it is also important in a planetary sense.
The unspoken theme in today’s consumerist world is that we have to buy everything we need. Which means you work hard and spend the money (a considerable part of it ) on various objects. If we nurture a culture of receiving we can fulfill at least some of our needs without having to buy them ourselves. Making for a more inter-connected , less stressful self and therefore world.
Overall , this is was a wonderful post. Love the way the words gently flow leaving an indelible mark.
Thanks for this gift !
Hello again Savitha!
Thank you for accepting my gift:-)
Glad you liked the bit about receiving – so many people are not good at this bit.
We can definitely cut down on our consumerism by receiving more gifts, both from other people and the universe and thereby fulfilling our desire to feel we count.
So the message is buy less, receive more:-)
This is awsome..
Thanks Akeem – and welcome to my blog.
I loved the post. It is important to learn to receive. I’ve had to learn that in the last year or two. I’d always been the “giver” in the past.
I love how you say that we should help others blossom – I love that idea. I’ve always considered myself a cheerleader for others in helping them reach their potential – which I think is along the same lines.
One thing I wanted to say though is that I’ve never heard of receiving gifts on Thanksgiving. Maybe we offer a banquet of food to people on that day here in the USA, but that’s about the extent of it that I’ve heard of.
Glad you liked this post.
As you say, it’s important to learn to receive. I can actually see you as a classic “giver”!
And yes, time to help others blossom.
As for receiving gifts on thanksgiving, I was under the impression that people give each other gifts – or maybe I’ve got American friends just focussed on consumersim!
I absolutely loved this article. In recent times, I have read a few other articles about “giving” and “gratitude” etc. but this one is most heart-felt, genuine and sincere. Each idea really struck a chord with me.
Particularly these words – “A sincere compliment or even just acknowledging their presence can make a huge difference to them – and you.”
I have often seen people holding back a compliment even when it can be obviously spoken because, however small the reason, the person will feel special if that compliment is shared with him/her/ And, what does it cost us or what does it take away from us? On the contrary, it only will go on to strengthen the bond between the giver and the taker.
The other genuine idea I liked is – Talk in glowing terms about someone to a third person.
I will do this starting now! And am already feeling excited that I can do this and in turn make my heart glow with bliss. 🙂
Thanks dear for such a gem of a post!
Rashmie, thanks for all your kind words!
I take it you liked this post:-)
I wrote this from the heart and I guess that’s come through in my words.
This particular line just came to me:-
“A sincere compliment or even just acknowledging their presence can make a huge difference to them – and you.”
Maybe this was channeled to me?!
As you say, it doesn’t cost us anything in paying a compliment, no matter how small. Every kind word spoken genuinely strengthens the bond between the giver and the taker.
Rashmie, enjoy talking in glowing terms about someone to a third person!
Let us know how you get on:-)
I love the idea of asking myself how I can help every time I meet someone. All these tips are wonderful and I would like to take each one and try it out for a week. These are wonderful ways to consciously connect and support each other.
I was really intrigued by the comment from Sadhguru Vasudev, “…that it was far important to receive than to give.” I will reflect on that advice!
Thank you for this 5-day inspiration feast!
It really is easy to get into contribution & serving mode if you ask yourself how you can help someone everytime to meet them.
Good luck with applying each of these tips for a week. Maybe you can write a guest post about this:-)
And remember to learn to receive even more!
Thanks for another great post, Arvind! My family keeps a tradition we call “The Thankfulness Box.” It goes like this:
* Before the holiday, put a cardboard box with a slit cut out into the top on the kitchen counter. Place a pile of blank paper and pencil next to it. Leave this out for a few days or weeks and ask everybody in the household (from family to friends) to write down things they’re thankful for. Here are some possible prompts:
o I’m grateful for…
o My life would be dull if it weren’t for…
o The following people make my life richer…because they… (these could be people your personally know or people who simply inspire you)
o I don’t know what I’d do without…
o I appreciate the following things about myself…
o This year I’ve been blessed with…
* Read the notes out loud during or after the Thanksgiving meal, and guess who wrote what.
Thanks Stacey for sharing your wonderful family tradition of keeping a
What an awesome idea!
You should definitely share this idea with the world via your blog:-)
Stacey, happy thanksgiving and enjoy reading out all the notes.
I look for simple ways to share love with everyone I meet–in a way custom for them to receive effortlessly. I want sharing to be comfortable and joy filled for each person.
I’ve had to learn to receive. It’s been a fun lesson! I find when I open my heart to the moment as it is, there is abundant magic..and part of that magic is receiving the joy from participating fully in a sunrise…as well as tangible well placed gifts from others..miracles..and who am *I* to deflect a miracle??? I allow for miracles to work through me, so I’m learning to allow them to work into me as well:)
Good to see you here again!
The simple ways of sharing love are always the best. And as you say, sharing should be comfortanle and joy filled for all those involved.
Enjjoy receiving even more – and may many more miracles work through you.