One of my favorite things is to listen to the essays of This I Believe… just hearing the beginning introduction I will pause, stop whatever I am doing, let out a sigh and settle in. I have yet to listen to one that doesn’t make me think, ponder or look at the world in a slightly different way.
These two ideas from Kevin Kelly and his essay The Universe Is Conspiring To Help Us caught my attention and have been playing in my head and my heart since I heard them…
I have developed a belief about what happens in these moments and it goes like this: Kindness is like a breath. It can be squeezed out, or drawn in. To solicit a gift from a stranger takes a certain state of openness. If you are lost or ill, this is easy, but most days you are neither, so embracing extreme generosity takes some preparation. I learned to think of this as an exchange. During the moment the stranger offers his or her goodness, the person being aided offers degrees of humility, indebtedness, surprise, trust, delight, relief, and amusement to the stranger.
When the miracle flows, it flows both ways. With each gift the threads of benevolence are knotted, snaring both giver and recipient. I’ve only slowly come to realize that good givers are those who learn to receive with grace as well. They radiate a sense of being indebted and a state of being thankful. As a matter of fact, we are all at the receiving end of a huge gift simply by being alive. Yet, most of us are no good at being helpless, humble or indebted.
One of the gifts that being broken open has taught me is to learn about the heartbeat of generosity, that there is a moment in-between when we allow ourselves to be open enough to receive, or when we can choose to block the gifts that are in front of us.
It has become my prayer to remain open to the gifts, the love, the abundance that is laid before me on my path.