Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Christmas Without Ego?

With Christmas a couple days away, my friend and student Susan offers thoughts about true giving.

I wonder what Christmas would be like without ego. Imagine handing a gift to someone waiting in anticipation to see their reaction. The person receives the gift then kindly smiles back but nothing more. Then your head spins in disbelief. You ponder why your loved one did not bother to thank you for such a delightful gift. This makes me wonder what Christmas would be like without hearing a single, “thank you.”

A similar event happened to me when I was purchasing a birthday gift recently. The person picked it out, so I knew they wanted it. However, I didn’t hear an actual “thank you” from the time I made arrangements to buy it to the time the person got it.  A dark feeling gnawed at me all afternoon.  I noticed the ego trying to make its way through the back door. Then I realized I just received a great gift and lesson myself.

The recent event encouraged me to ponder why we give? Are we giving with the purest intention or to just to receive recognition for the thoughtfulness? Is that truly being thoughtful? I wonder if it is as simple as human nature to want a “thank you.” Perhaps it’s just the polite thing to do. Maybe you are reading this and think you do not have any problem giving unconditionally. Well have you ever been upset after not receiving an immediate response when you did something thoughtful?

I further realized giving unconditionally not only includes considering the benefit of all, but also considering all outcomes. If we gave unconditionally there would be no need to wonder what the outcome would be let alone receiving gratitude. This can be implemented in all aspects of life whether you are at work, consoling a friend, or opening a door for a stranger. They are all different types of service. I encourage you to ask yourself if you are participating in something to feel good about yourself for giving or are you doing it to benefit everyone with the purest intention. I hope throughout the holiday season you will look within and think about how much a “thank you” means to you.

Susan started to cultivate a deeper relationship with the Creator four years ago when she was introduced to the works of Eckhart Tolle's, "The Power of Now" by Jim Tolles. Her life has been transformed in countless ways since then.
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