Give and take

May 24, 2004

As a boy, I was told: “It is better to give than to receive”. This, hopefully, was to move my young, egocentric, acquisitive behavioural patterns into a more generous and compassionate way of being.

The hidden message, though, in “better to give”, than receive is that it sets up “receiving” as the inferior of giving. And, with all the other complex shadows that hide within one’s psyche, this can compound into a feeling that something is not quite right in the taking.

Might it be more instructive to say: “Giving and receiving are both acts of love”.

And that each should be practised with copious amounts of gratitude.

ancestral stonesThe small sculpture ‘Five Ancestral Stones’ is being donated to an art auction to raise money for the Tasmanian Greens. I first carved it last September and then left it outside to weather for eight months before spending another week reworking it. My donation is but one small example of expressing a deep appreciation to a political party that represents such inspired integrity and hope for the earth and humanity.

mischeThe white truck parked behind my friend, Mische Marion, has served me well, but with 350,000 kilometers, is nearing retirement and I have only been driving it because I do not have the means to get a better vehicle.

In front of Mische, however, all grey and beautiful like the Ancestral Stones, is the Subaru that she has recently given to me out of her love for Windgrove and its visions for peace.

A great gift. And, I love receiving it.

This reciprocal give and take; these circular dances of exchange; this breathing in and out of beautiful acts……

…are they not wondrous?

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