The Gift of Receiving
Giving is generous, but so too is receiving. For in receiving we give the giver satisfaction of knowing that they have cared, and cared well. Like my blade, which can only cut on its push if it is once again pulled, a giver receives only by way of a gracious reception. Giving generously makes for a greater gift, and so too does receiving generously. So receive not only the gift, but also the feeling of the gift.
Receive the spirit and intent of the gift. The giver has thought about you and tried to know you and to see you and now gives so that you can feel known and seen. Say, “thank you.” No other appreciations or gratuities are needed. Say thanks not only in your words, but also with your eyes which will tell them I see you see me. Tell them with your hands, which will carefully hold the gift and put it safe in a place of honor, like one would a delicately carved wooden toy. And finally, show thanks with use of the gift. Do not let your chocolate grow pale and chalky. Do not let your new shoes grow stiff from neglect. For in the eating and wearing you will tell the giver that you cherish their gift and then they will feel the reciprocation and goodwill. This year, consider giving the gift of a thousand tools, with a membership to the NE Seattle Tool Library, where they can borrow me and many other tools of generous spirit.