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Giving and Receiving

Give me some sunshine
Creative Commons License photo credit: aussiegall

Giving is one of the great joys of life.  Being able to contribute to others is something that makes us feel good about ourselves and fills a need that another person has.   Giving is essential to life.

But giving is only one side of the coin.

In order for something to be given, there has to be someone to receive it.  Without the receiver, there is no giver (and likewise, of course).

I bet that you actively try to give – your skills, your love, your money, your energy.  But how well do you receive?

Being receptive and open to what others have to give keeps the cycle of giving/receiving flowing and moving.  Receiving in an enthusiastic and appreciative manner inspires the giver to give again, and the process starts once more creating an endless cycle.

It might seem as though the receiver is less important than the giver because they are “not doing anything”, but on the contrary the receiver’s role in the giving/receiving cycle is as vital as the giver’s role.

Without a receiver the cycle of giving stops, just as if there was no giver in the first place.  Be a good giver, and be a good receiver too.

What do you think about the roles of “giver” and “receiver”?  Please share your ideas in the comments!

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  1. Amanda: Another great post 🙂 It’s true that sometimes you give so much — and love it, love the way it makes you feel, love being able to help others — that you forget that there’s someone doing the receiving when you do so. So that when the tables are turned and you’re the receiver, it feels awkward and almost uncomfortable. I think you’re right that it’s a cycle and you have to be open to both to let that cycle continue. The receiving part is something I was never comfortable with, but I’m definitely working on it. Nice post! 🙂

  2. Hi Amanda – I like the idea of a cycle of giving and receiving. I think that’s a lovely way to express it, and helps us remember that we actually do have a responsibility to be a gracious receiver.

  3. I love this. This is something that I’ve been talking about with a good friend of mine. We’re both very giving people, but we need to work on our “receiving” skills. I think this will help us both 🙂

  4. Joana Joana

    Excellent post. Years ago, the rector of the Episcopal church I was then attending gave a sermon about this very same concept but in terms of Christianity and charity. The part that stuck with me was her saying that you can’t and shouldn’t always be the giver (the Christ) to others; it’s just as much a charitable thing/good deed to let others be the Christ (the giver) to you. It’s not “wrong” to be need help or consolation or whatever. A Jewish friend of mine says that it’s just as much of a mitzvah (good deed) to receive graciously as Patty states above.

  5. Joy Joy

    I believe in Energy and flow, so it makes sense then to be as open and generous at receiving as I am at giving. In my past receiving has frequently had some kind of condition attached–sometimes unexpected–so receiving is a lesson I’ve been working on lately. A *fun* lesson:) I think being able to receive graciously has a lot to do with my self esteem and authenticity in life; at my best I am an awesome receiver, at my ‘worst” I tend to deflect a lot.

  6. We have always been taught from our early conditioning that giving is the right thing to do and receiving is rarely spoke about. In order to experience success in any field you have to learn how to receive. This world is ready to give you whatever you want. You just have to be willing to accept it.

  7. Amanda Linehan Amanda Linehan

    Hi Susan – I agree with what you say about receiving being potentially awkward. I have specifically worked on this past year being a more gracious receiver. You wouldn’t think that you would need to work on receiving as a skill, but you do!

    Hi Patty – Right, both roles are important and come with a certain responsibility.

    Hi Jay – I worked on my “receiving” skills a lot in the past year. As I said to Susan above, it seems like receiving should come naturally, but it doesn’t!

  8. Amanda Linehan Amanda Linehan

    Hi Joana – Interesting comment. I like the idea of “receiving” being a good deed as much as giving is.

    Hi Joy – Great comment. I like what you said about receiving being related to your own self esteem and strength. I have found that receiving well takes a good bit of both of these things.

    Hi Joey – Absolutely. We are not taught how to receive, nor is it even mentioned much. And, I think you are right that when you are open to receiving you’ll find that what you want finds you quickly.

  9. We all have to give. Start with giving a 10 cents out of a dollar. It’ll make it easier when your a millionaire later on , trying to give 100,000 grand out your first millions to a charity!

  10. Amanda Linehan Amanda Linehan

    Hi Jonathan – I agree. It’s not the amount you give, it’s what’s behind the gift.

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