We just concluded the “Joy of giving” week, an awesome initiative by several people that was launched in 2009. Read more on this link Joy of giving.
At work we put up “Wish trees” and fulfilled wishes of our housekeeping and other support staff. Interestingly in one office, the security guards did not want to participate in the initiative and it made me wonder why…. I was reminded of two things. Long back I read an article in Readers Digest that everyone likes to be a giver, because it makes you feel better and superior in some ways, but it was equally important that you received gifts with joy. The article spoke of how it was important to express your happiness and thrill when you receive a gift, so that the giver feels good. I took the message to heart and am always happy to receive gifts :):):)
Then Osho and his special message came into our lives … Osho was asked a question “Who is bigger, a receiver or a giver” and the master’s answer was classic, “The receiver is bigger, because if there was no receiver, who will the giver give to ?” Ofcourse he used inimitable words of his but the message was clear. Have no pride in being a giver, because if the receiver doesn’t need it or doesn’t take it, your giving has no value.
I guess the movies and priests have made “giving” bigger than “receiving”. The rich man giving gifts to all his servants, the zamindar distributing clothes and sweets on festival days, the priest making you give “dakshina” to the poor, the alms given to a beggar all stereotypical behavior that glorifies giving and makes the receiver feel he is less privileged, poor and needy. Not true really… The two messages above make a powerful case for “joyfully receiving”. Pause and think for a moment, we are all receivers everyday, gifts of sunlight, of oxygen, of food, of love and all unconditional.
So celebrating just the joy of giving is one-sided, the other side is the joy of receiving. The common factor is “joy” that is part of both giving and receiving, so enjoy both. Also remember we are both – a receiver and a giver, so there can’t be pride attached to just giving, receive happily and give happily.