“The sun loses nothing by shining into a puddle.”
There are certain laws that govern the universe; let’s call them universal laws. Physical laws, like gravity or thermodynamics, are always in force. They apply to our lives whether we like it or not. There are also spiritual laws that affect our lives as well. The law of reciprocity (give and it shall be given) is one such law.
The practice of the 12th Step involves giving back to others who still suffer. There is a slogan in the program that best describes the benefit of giving back: “If you want to keep it, you’ve got to give it away.” It helps me to help others because it strengthens me in the doing. You never give to others without receiving in return.
My wife teaches little 4 year olds; one of the little songs they sing is, “Love is something if you give it away… you keep on getting more.” So simple, yet so true. Just give it away – no strings attached – freely, generously, and you will never be without.
But we live in a competitive world where winning is everything. Many of us grew up in an environment where there wasn’t enough to go around. And the difference between winning and losing meant either having enough or not having enough. I grew up in a family of six children in which there was only so much food to go around. If you ate too slowly you didn’t get a second helping because there was nothing left.
There are so many that suffer from a ‘poverty’ mentality that it is rare to find someone who is actually generous, and who believes that the universe is abundant, able to give back generously to those who share with others.
Gratitude and generosity are inseparably linked in the realm of the spirit. Those who are generous cannot do so without first being grateful; those who practice gratitude are empowered to give. Heart-felt gratitude expresses itself with acts of generosity. Why? It’s a four-letter word called ‘love.’
It costs nothing to smile into a puddle. We try to avoid the ‘puddles’ in our lives, the annoyances that easily spoil our walk on the spiritual path. But the one who practices gratitude can be grateful for all things, even the puddles. Instead of avoiding and ignoring these little annoyances, we can be grateful for them and generously shine down our gratitude into these lives.
It costs very little to give gratitude and show generosity, and the rewards are huge.
You choose to be great when you choose to be grateful.