This flip side of yesterday’s post, of course, is the matter of receiving graciously. My sons were surprised the other day by a toll booth attendant who noticed them in the back seat of the car as we made our way from Naples to Palm Beach via Alligator Alley.
She saw them, lit up and said: “Oh! I have a surprise for you!” Seconds later her outstretched arm offered two cute stickers with the highway mascot, an alligator, on them. The boys were delighted, thanked her and we drove on.
It occurred to me that giving is rightly requited more by genuinely enthusiastic receiving than it is by reciprocated giving. Receiving thankfully and fitly closes the loop in a cycle of giving.
What stands in the way of true receiving? Expectations, that is, a concern for a specific result, on the part of the giver. False humility, a lack of self-worth or mindless insensitivity on the part of the receiver.
What clears the way for true receiving? The remedy depends upon the underlying cause, but generally speaking, a return to magnanimity and kindheartedness goes a long way to restoring balance in a world made tipsy-turvy by acquisitiveness and insecurity.