In Life, You Need to Be Two Things

As usual (okay for the third week in a row) it’s time for a life lessons that one of my elders have graced me with. This week is brought to you by Mrs. Robinson, a newly widowed eighty-something year old friend of the family.

Did you know that in life, we need to be two things, that is according to Mrs. Robinson? And her words have resounded in my mind more times than I could ever count.

We were walking out of church just casually talking and I had commented on her colorful necklace and how much I liked it. We took a few more steps, still shooting the breeze, and next thing I know, she is has already reached up, took it off from around her neck, and was handing it over to me. I quickly thought back on my previous remark, and I certainly didn’t say it in a way that implied that she should give it to me, or so I thought anyway.

Shocked, I said, “Oh no, Mrs. Robinson, I didn’t mean that I wanted it!”

“What’s the matter? You don’t like it?”

“No I do” I replied, “but you don’t have to give it to me!”

“Well what good is it to me at my age?”

With a few more banters back and forth as to why I don’t need the necklace, she finally shoved it into my hands and said ever so dearly (contradicting her strong hands), “My dear, in life we need to be two things. We need to be both gracious givers, and gracious receivers. So let me be a gracious giver, and you be a gracious receiver.”

How many times have we been in a position that we awkwardly accept a gift (like those dreaded Christmas gifts from Grandma) hoping the moment quickly passes? And how many times have we given a gift only to see the person give a half-assed, ungrateful smile? Each situation sucks. I think when you’re really happy, you love to give gifts, at least that’s the case for me anyway. I have no problem lending someone something, or even straight up gifting it over if I seldom remind myself to be a gracious giver. And seeing someone happily give something to you should create happiness in you. It works the other way around too. When you happily receive something, the giver creates happiness. Because happiness in yourself and happiness and others is a happy thing-duh!

I know this is a lot of graciousness and happiness but what I’m trying to say is- be a gracious giver and be a gracious receiver.


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