There is a wonderful legend about a wanderer in the desert who happens on a spring of clear, fresh water. He excitedly fills his jug with water and dashes off to share his precious treasure with the king. The wanderer crosses a great distance over many days to eventually arrive at the palace and offer his gift to the king. As the king tastes the water, he smiles and profusely thanks the wanderer for his wonderful gift. The members of the court rush forward to have a taste, expecting to savor cool, clean water. Instead, they are repulsed with hot, stale water and they spit it out. A member of the court inquired of the king, “How could you give thanks for this spoiled water? The king smiled and divulged that it was not the water he tasted, but the spirit in which it was given.
Receiving a gift is an art unto itself. Remembering that it is not the gift but the spirit of the giver that is most important can make us all better givers and receivers.
President Calvin Coolidge spoke of giving when he said, “No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.”
Writer, Margaret Lee Bundeck, declared that “Giving is a necessity sometimes more urgent, indeed, than having.”
Activist, Stephen S. Wise, stated his views on giving thusly: “An unshared life is not living. He who shares does not lessen, but greatens his life”.
I hope that these words of wisdom help to brighten your holidays and encourage each of you to develop your own Art of Giving and Receiving that you may experience the great joy of both!!