Tuesday, November 30, 2010
On Gratitude and Gift Giving
I've finished Linchpin at Gordon's recommendation, and I honestly can't re-recommend it enough. My only caveat is that you must know what you are getting in to. Linchpin is designed to inspire you to find your own innate gifts and use them both in the work place, and in the world at large. It does not tell you HOW to do that outright. Godin isn't trying to tell you how to being a leader and an individual. Doing so by someone else' recepie is defeating the point.
The point of the book is to help you find your own unique gifts, and to give them to the world.
Since Thanksgiving is just past, I figured I'd tie that it was an auspicious time for a post. I clipped this from a post on Jason's board:
Thanksgiving and Gratitude are more than just good manners, but when dealing with Spirits or the Universe at large manners never hurt. Saying "Thank you" is the other side of the practice of offerings.
Giving thanks shows gratitude for what you have, and encourages generosity. Think about it: If you do a favor for someone, and they take it and go, or worse criticize, are you likely to do a favor for them again? But if you do something nice for someone and they honestly give you a heartfelt thank you, it opens your heart and builds a connection between both of you.
To generate Thankfulness it also helps to remember that no one has to help you. Ever. Help comes from a place of compassion, but no one HAS to help you. The world can be a harsh place, and being thankful for help just makes sense.
Think of a world devoid of compassion, where each was only out for themselves. It's horrifying. Everything becomes a maneuver for a better strategic position, people become assets to be traded or exploited, and chip by chip everyone becomes more isolated and more afraid. There are people who live like that, and I feel very sorry for them.
Thanksgiving and Gratitude prevent that kind of thinking. They also encourage a mindset where you appreciate what you have as soon as it comes to you, instead of the moment it is taken away. Your view is no longer framed in scarcity, but in openness and that allows your mind to see many more opportunities.
You were not only put where you are, in a very fortunate position by your actions alone, but by the help of countless individuals from countless lives. In the realm of causality Thankfulness encourages generosity, which encourages more thankfulness, and generosity all around. It's a self feeding cycle.
Give your gift. Feed into the cycle.