Saturday, December 6, 2008The Art of Receiving
Hopefully if you are reading this blog you are a "joyful giver" or at least on your way to becoming one. Earlier this week I posted on receiving. Today I am linking to a more in depth article on The Art of Receiving.
I am including it because it is essential that we receive as gracefully as we give, and some of us shy away from receiving for a whole host of reasons. Here are a couple of excerpts from the article:
Receiving isn’t easy. If it were, more of us would do it with grace and gratitude. Is there a way to change that? Can we learn to receive so we can be nourished and empowered? These are crucial questions, not just because the holiday season is a time when giving and receiving are part of our daily experience. The ability to receive is, in fact, essential to physical health, psychological balance and spiritual engagement. Before we can enhance our receptivity, though, it’s helpful to take a look at the reasons we fail to receive.
Many of us instinctively resist receiving because we sense the power dynamics involved, which reduce the receiver to the weaker position. We all know how it feels when someone gives us advice for “our sake” and we know it’s to establish his or her own wisdom. We don’t take the advice, because we don’t want to confirm our inferiority. Harvard University Professor Ellen Langer puts such power dynamics to good use. “Receiving empowers the giver,” she says. “That’s why I advise parents to let their kids buy them gifts. When they receive them, it can make the children feel confident and good about themselves.”
So if you are a joyful giver, also learn to be a joyful receiver so you can continue the abundant cycle. The full article is here.
Thursday, December 4, 2008How to Receive
Q: It's very easy for me to give and give, but much more difficult for me to receive. How can I learn to receive?
A: You must be open to receive. If I have something to give you but your hands are tightly closed behind your back, I have no vessel in which to place my gift. But if your hands are open and you reach out to receive, I can place the gift in them.
The same is true for those things that are of Spirit. If you are uptight and closed down inside of yourself, how can you be open to receive the bounty that is available to you?
If it's truly difficult to receive, you might begin by receiving in small ways. Let someone buy you lunch, open the door or run an errand for you. Most people will be very willing to give to you. It's you who decides how much you want to receive on all levels.
(From: Q&A from the Heart with John-Roger Journal)
Some nice thoughts from you all on the meaning of frugality. Thanks for weighing in.
Bruce commented: “I seem to remember that the phrase voluntary simplicity can equate to frugality and also to greater choice, creativity and even elegance.”
However, I think this article from the “Cheapskate” column in the Wall St Journal says it all, and we’ll leave it as the last word on frugality:
According to the experts being a tightwad isn’t the happiest state of being. Many cheapskates experience something akin to physical pain when they spend, and are constantly anxious about money.
Spendthrifts aren’t necessarily any happier. Their free-spending often causes stress in their lives and marriages. Indeed, the experts say the happiest people are frugal, which they define as people who are able to spend without suffering but take pleasure in saving.
Maybe it’s because I’m a Londonder that I love these gorgeous overhead shots of London at night.
What a soap opera! I like Elizabeth Kolbert’s take on the bailout of the big three carmakers in this New Yorker editorial. Excerpt:
What would it mean if the domestic industry were allowed to fail?” G.M.’s Wagoner asked last month. “The cost would be catastrophic. . . . That’s why this is all about a lot more than just Detroit.” Together, the Big Three employ some two hundred and fifty thousand people, and, as the automakers correctly point out, millions of other Americans—from the machinist at the tire factory to the waitress at the corner bar—indirectly depend on them for jobs. Were these jobs to be lost, the effect would ripple out through the economy, producing what Paul Krugman, on MSNBC, recently called “a huge anti-stimulus program at exactly the wrong moment.”
It would, of course, be foolish to allow the American economy to collapse in order to make a point. And it’s possible to conclude that the Big Three deserve on every front to fail and still decide to rescue them. But such a decision will itself be a form of temporizing, and will only pass the problems on to the next Administration. Real change—as opposed to the kind in slogans—is hard and, by definition, disruptive. If Obama has any intention of fulfilling his campaign promises, sooner or later he’s going to have to face up to that.
And related to the subject with an extra twist is this, my Financial Quote of the Day:
The Big 3 may get a bailout. Financially the US taxpayer will get a stake - in what will surely be radically reshaped companies. Citibank just got a large infusion from Saudi Arabia's Prince al-Waleed bin Talal al-Saud - just days before a US government orchestrated rescue helped rocket the share price. Maybe these are just coincidental moves. Maybe not.
What we're witnessing isn't finance or investment as usual. We're watching a shift to a managed economic structure, where government officials determine who will live and who will die. It's a shift from investments to agreements, where having access to large pools of ready cash is the ultimately persuasive argument. And lacking access means doing whatever you're told.
-- From: John Maudlin’s Outside the Box