I wrote this for The Weekly Telegram a week or so before Christmas, but I still think it's timely!
Giving is Better Than Receiving. Really!
I've always been interested and sometimes aggravated by "Words of Wisdom" or "Wise Sayings" since I was a young boy. Sometimes I did not understand them and a lot of the time I made fun of them. I have plenty of proof to the latter claim of poking fun at proverbs. That proof comes in the form of my first two comedy books "Make Love Not Warts" and "Four Score and Seven Beers Ago...". These books have about 400 proverbs and silly sayings I've come up with over the years.
Life has a way of teaching you things whether you want to learn them or not. People try to teach each other in many ways, such as proverbs, but sometimes those sayings are not understood until a life experience shows us the way. Many of the sayings I have made fun of I now understand all to well. Now I look at these words of wisdom a lot differently. I can still make fun of them, maybe even more than before because the life lesson or lessons that reinforce the meaning. Wisdom does not come easy or cheap if it does come at all.
I don't know when I first really understood the real meaning of the phrase "It's Better to Give Than Receive.". I think it was when I realized that by making people laugh I was giving out the God given gift I had received. I really do enjoy seeing or hearing someone laugh at something I wrote or said. There's no way for me to describe the feeling. I thinks it's the same as when someone cooks a meal and watches people eat the food. Or when someone builds something with their hands and presents it to a friend or family member as a gift.
I really enjoy this time of year when I have the money to get people presents. When I'm struggling financially, this can be the worst season. This year I'll give what I can and be thankful for that. I don't have children myself, but I do have nephews and that's the best. I love seeing their faces when they open what I've brought them. These are the times it really is better to give than receive and when the meaning of the words take root and grow!!
There are all kinds of ways and presents one can give if you really look hard enough. If you are struggling like a lot of us are, there's still things you can give. Your time, your attention and kind words. I also believe this can be done year round. Every year I hear folks say "I wish it could be like this all year." First we should enjoy the time people are kind to one another and then worry about stretching it beyond the Holidays. Let's be in the Holiday mood more than we have ever been and keep stretching out the time until we go back to letting life control our outlook. Then, maybe one day, we'll stretch that time we are full of joy to all year long. Truth Be Told, the Holiday Spirit is always inside us, we just forget to keep bringing it out!