Soul Reflections The Art of Giving …… and Receiving

Part 1 …… Giving and Love

Giving is natural to human nature. The gifts we exchange during Diwali, Id, Christmas and other culturally significant times are traditional norms which give us an opportunity to show we care. They bring us closer together.

The author O. Henry writes in his book: The Gift of the Magi, about a very poor couple who had no money to buy each other a Christmas gift. The man had a lovely watch that he cherished, but no chain to attach it to his coat. The wife had beautiful knee length long hair which she cherished, but no comb. The man secretly sells his watch to buy his wife a set of combs. At the same time, the wife secretly sells off her long hair to the wigmaker and buys a gold watch chain for her husband. The presents turned out to be of no use to both of them. But the thought behind the giving and the sacrifice they made for each other, speaks volumes about the deep love they had for each other.

Four thousand years ago, on hearing of Krishna’s coronation, Sudama, his childhood friend remembered that Krishna loved puffed rice. So he carried some for him. But when he saw Krishna seated on the throne, he hesitated. He even started to feel ashamed that he had brought such an ordinary gift for the King. But Krishna was not embarrassed in anyway, and seized the gift from Sudama and thoroughly enjoyed eating it! Once again, what comes through is that it is not the material value of the gift that is important, but the thought and the love behind it.

Whenever we love, we express our love by giving. The lover who buys his beloved a flower, the child who presents his mother with a beautiful paper necklace he learned to make in his craft class, the gift a brother gives his sister on Raksha Bandhan, a new car given by a rich parent as a graduation present to his child, all have one thing in common: they are expressions of love. The value of the article is immaterial.

Even the offering we make to the Lord when we go to the temple is an expression of our love for Him / Her. So if you love someone, show you care by Giving. Give freely from your heart. There is no better way of making sure your gift is a perfect one!

Kamal Tolia

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