Giving and Receiving - It's An Attitude
From the ICFE's Ask Mr. G's Library
Here's a new Christmas article from the AskMrG
This time of year we focus on giving and receiving. Have you
ever stopped to consider that those two words are found at the
very core of our perspective toward life?
Simply put, most of us divide into one of two categories - we
are either givers or receivers. Our perspective toward life,
toward other people, and toward ourselves determines which
category we are in.
I heard of man who visited a friend and found him to be
somewhat sad and discouraged. The man said to his friend, "You
seem sad today. Didn't your great aunt die a few months back and
leave you a $15,000 inheritance?"
"That is correct," responded the discouraged friend.
"And didn't just last month you win that drawing for a brand
"That is correct, too," replied the friend.
"So, why so gloomy today? It looks like things have really
been going your way lately?"
The friend responded, "Why so gloomy? I'll tell you why. It
is already the 25th of the month and nothing good has happened
Sad to say this story illustrates an attitude that is
prevalent today. The attitude that says "I deserve to be getting
something in life," "It's all about me," "Everybody owes me"
attitude. It is the attitude of receiving, not giving.
I remember a missionary friend telling me how his family had
delivered a carload of groceries to a poor family with eight
children. He explained how the father had watched out the window
as bag after bag of food was carried in.
As the last bag of groceries was placed on the kitchen table
and the missionary family walked toward their car to leave, the
father called out to them, "I hope you remember that this won't
last us all month!"
Receiving is all about us. It is focused on self and sees the
world revolving around us. With so much self, there is little
room for gratitude, appreciation, and thanksgiving. And there is
very little room for joy.
Of course there are times in life that we may be placed on
the "receiving end of the stick," and have to accept help from
others. There is no shame in that. We set aside our pride and
appreciate the generosity of others. There is true joy and
The Founder of the Salvation Army, General William Booth, was
scheduled to make an important speech to his co-workers. It was
to challenge them to be passionate about their work. He became
ill and could not keep the engagement. In his absence, he sent a
telegram to be read to his co-workers.
A hush spread over the audience as the telegram from General
Booth was read. His message was clear although it contained only
one word, "Others!"
So, will it be "Others" or "me"? Will we chose to be a Giver
or a receiver?
That is our daily choice. I choose "others"! How about you?