There is a saying in India that unless one empties one’s cash box, there will be no room for fresh cash to come in. I normally extend this to suit the occasion and say something like for the pocket to be replenished, it must keep getting emptied, or instead of the ‘pocket’, I would use ‘wallet’.

Recently, when reading a post by Maria the Silver Fox, I had commented that more difficult than giving is receiving with grace and gratitude. I suppose that, that is a topic worth a separate post in itself but I need to mention it here as I find it extremely difficult to write about giving without writing about receiving. This is because; I have been at the receiving end almost all my life and hardly ever been on the giving end.

It is said by many sages that it is by giving that one receives. To the best of my recollection, bar an occasional lapse or two, I have never been at the giving end but almost always at the receiving end. I suppose that I am the exception that proves the rule.

To start from my childhood, I received a great deal of love and all that it entails. As I started getting to be older, the story changed, I started receiving a great deal of punishment and scolding from my parents, teachers and other parent figures, though I suppose that all that was given to make me capable of receiving much worse in my adulthood. During childhood however, that kind receiving makes for a different perceptive. So, logically, since I had received so much of punishment and scolding, I should have been giving the same to my child or other younger children. This simply did not happen, as I am such a softy and a clown that it is beyond me to do that to a child.

Fast forward to employment and here again, I received a great deal of firing and punishments as a subordinate, but was simply incapable of giving the same to my subordinates when I moved into superior positions. Some mechanism in my psyche would appear to have been malfunctioning or totally absent. So, I ended up receiving more from the top about my lack of firmness. Something funny however happened here. I started receiving a great deal of support and cooperation and good performances from the crowd still working below me in the hierarchy and this was something that the top could not reconcile with their assessment of my softness or lack of hardness or whatever. I was therefore at both the receiving ends, one on a positive note and the other on the negative. I suppose that I was simply giving a lot of something that was working, without knowing that it was what was happening! This paradox continued till I finally retired from active employment and as I look back to that period of my life, I can’t but wonder as to what I gave against what I received and on balance it appeared that I received much more than I gave. So, one way or the other the adage proved to be true.

Materially, there is little that I can now give as the opportunities simply do not present themselves to me. I suppose that I can go looking for them, but I am not made that way. I am just too lazy. Other forms of giving, particularly of myself and my time, keeps happening as a matter of routine and I do not even think about those things as giving. It is just part of life. I however continue to get a lot of non material things from many sources, the main among them being the blogworld in which I have made such wonderful friends during the last year and a half or so. Without exception, I get a lot of indulgence and affection, even when I rib someone. So, I think that the adage works on this score too. On the other hand, when I read stories like this, I wonder if I would ever be able to live like that!

As I was giving the finishing touches to this post, I came across another very interesting article on ‘giving’, due to it being the season for giving. Please do give some time and read. I wish that I could have thought of that approach to the subject!

The principle of the balance, the yin and the yang, action and reaction et al suggests that a balanced life is what we need. But this is the greatest struggle of our lives, striking a balance. In the case of giving however, the balance is always in our favour when we give. We receive much more than we give.

Moral of the story – Give a little, but give. You will get a great deal more in return. That is the law of nature. The Sage has spoken. Now let us see what wisdom the OGO will come up with.

This post is the Loose Consortium Bloggers’ Friday post when Ashok, Conrad, Grannymar, Magpie11, Maria, Gaelikaa, Helen, Judy, Anu and Ginger write on the same topic. Please do visit the other blogs to taste the different flavours. Some of these bloggers may be preoccupied with Christmas so be a little indulgent in case they do not post or post late.

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