One of the descriptions of abject poverty you may not have known is: that poverty of a person not capable to meet his needs and too proud to admit it by asking for help when necessary. Simply put; poor and proud.
You are proud if all you want to do is give and never receive.
There are three aspects of receiving:
- Knowing what to receive
- Knowing when to receive
- Knowing from whom to receive what.
If you do not know what to receive, you may receive ‘more than you can bite or chew’. You may have what you are seeking to receive and not know it; if you do not know what it is you want.
That a person is a philanthropist does not mean you should receive from them every time.
Most people think it is always more honourable to give than to receive, but sometimes the most virtuous thing to do is receive. Knowing when it is virtuous and honourable to receive is the crux of the ‘art’ of receiving.
Naturally, by karma, if you have not given, you are banned from receiving. The pain is seeing people who have sown shying away from reaping.
First thing first: Agree with yourself that it is natural and normal for you to be presented things not only on birthdays and Christmas. This is so because you too are a giver; you are a giver and you should be given.
That you have given cash does not necessarily mean you can only be given cash. Any farmer at all expects more yields than he sowed, so likewise you should expect more than just cash if what you sown is cash. Having this mind-set makes it easy to receive.
The tangible things around us first exist as intangibles. Therefore, things that you can receive can be broadly grouped into two: the tangible and the intangible.
Sometimes all you receive from some people is the intangible things. For example counsel, motivation, idea, concept, affection, loyalty etc.
The most common scenario is when the same set of people gives us both the intangible and the tangible. For example, family and friends give us counsel and a tool-kit, another time it is motivation with tickets to our favourite band’s concert, love with birthday gifts or humour with Christmas parcel etc.
The hardest scenario is to receive tangible things without intangible things. This is one of the easiest times to say is a bad time to receive. This is so because some negative intangibles are more likely to be subtly involved.
Examples of such negative intangibles are: hate, subterfuge, conspiracy and ill-will among others.
From some people, the most honourable and blessed things to receive are intangibles; from some, it is tangibles, but most times, tangibles or intangibles is a matter of the ‘times’.
If you are not ready to appreciate the giver do not receive. Receive with joy and appreciation. Say thanks again, especially when what is received is not yet spent.
Above all, beware of official gifts. Do not take an ‘official gift’ when you have not done anything.
The difference between a bribe and a tip is the time of giving. A bribe before a job or duty is performed; a tip after the job is done. A head-full of discretion is required even when tips are to be received. Some tips are bribe for a forthcoming request.
Conclusively, do unto others as you want to be done unto you. Give a helping hand. Give a smile. Make someone happy. Meet someone’s need and your own need will be met, no matter how big yours is.