“Remember, You can’t be a smart cookie if you have a crummy attitude.” John Maxwell
Most of us do not tread carefully when dealing with control versus diplomacy. Our preferences obviously prioritize our choices. Purchases are made with reasoning and logic, as well as consideration of others. Although final decisions do not guarantee complete satisfaction, from the recipient.
I hear it time and again how others are so inconsiderate. We all go on and on about the horrible things we receive from others. We view the gifts as meaningless. We recall the meaningful and memorable gifts we bestowed on others. As I am speaking and listening I realize that I have been on both ends of this argument. Many times I wonder at a gift that I received. I have thought maybe it was re-gifted to me. I know that is a terrible attitude but the gifts were so fantastically awful. I began to recall incidences when the person receiving my gift was lame about shoving it aside quickly. I expected a big thank you and a few “aws”.It proves how different we are in our likes and dislikes. Sadly it also verifies how wrong we are in our assumptions. Our intentions may be honest but we never get a chance to explain why we did gave or said something, It gets so misinterpreted. The more one tries to explain something, the worse it sounds and it sometimes comes out like an apology. Then we are embarrassed and start talking gibberish as we dig a deeper hole for ourselves. We chalk the whole ordeal up to “that’s life” and we go on from there.
I have concluded that no matter how outrageous or careless a gift appears to be, somewhere inside of the giver there was a solid reason for their purchase. Grant it the idea may be lost on us but the intention was pure. So when the gifts are given away or stored in the basement of one’s home I am satisfied that the giver meant well and the gift was sent with all good wished. It makes me feel better and keeps the relationship intact without any bumps or scars. It also teaches me that I reallly didn’t need the gift and my concern for a friend or family member transcends a silly token. I am being the clown if I believe in my heart that people’s love depends on my constant indulgence of pleasure items. When I need a friend and I dial the phone I am not recalling any previous items given. I am recalling the kind familiar voice at the end of the line that magically helps me to cheer up.
“Kindness is more important than wisdom, and the recognition of this is the beginning of wisdom.” Theodore Isaac Rubin
Below is a true story, hope you enjoy it.
Sarah loved to cook. Her mother-in-law (MIL) hated to cook. Sarah invited her MIL to dinner often because she enjoyed how much her MIL appreciated good food and her MIL did a lot of babysitting. Her MIL, Karen, especially loved and would comment on Sarah’s bread. When Sarah’s mother-in-laws’ birthday rolled around, Sarah decided to buy a bread machine for her MIL. She could hardly wait for her MIL to open the gift. Upon opening the gift, her MIL was extremely disappointed and appeared to be offended. Her MIL bluntly stated, “Keep the machine or return it because it isn’t something I will use. Sarah was heartbroken and offended. The once strong bond of affection was strained. Both women retreated to their own thoughts.
After a few days, they talked. Karen said she understood that Sarah would like her to start making her own bread so she didn’t depend on Sarah’s invitations to dinner. Karen also explained that Sarah should understand how much she hated to cook and would thus never use the machine. Sarah stated that she knew how much Karen loved homemade bread and she wanted her MIL to enjoy it whenever she wanted without waiting for an invitation to dinner. Sarah also explained that the machine was easy to use.
Both women were so surprised at the confusion the gift had caused. Don’t measure the gift in terms of love. Many husbands have royally failed. One of my husband’s first gifts to me was a recipe card holder. I have told him many times he was lucky I went through with marrying him. It helps to think about the gifts of time that others have given. It is a much more valuable gift,. It makes one think about the times we have viewed our gifts with disdain. We assumed others weren’t even thinking about us. On reflection we were totally on their mind we were just a little out of sync. We should remember that love is unconditional.
“That best portion of the good man’s life – his little shamelessness, unremembered acts of kindness and of love.” Wordsworth
“Do something for somebody everyday for which you do not get paid.” Albert Schweitzer