Monday, December 17, 2007

The Fine Art of Re-Gifting

Ok—I admit it. I have, once or twice in my lifetime, re-gifted. I am not proud of this fact, but I am prepared to come clean. Since my initial re-gifting incidences, I have been socially educated (via Oprah) and understand that it would have been a better choice to donate the items to charity rather than re-gift them. Seems re-gifting falls into the social context of an unacceptable faux pas. This unintentional blunder got me thinking--are there gifts that would be perfectly acceptable, even admirable to re-gift? I imagine that there are. I even believe that you possess some of these gifts; they are simply lying around your life, stagnating, ready to be re-gifted in order to be fully appreciated.

The Gift of Friendship – This is a gift that certainly keeps giving. I have found this to be one of life’s most precious offerings. C.S. Lewis noted that “Friendship is born in that moment when one person says to another, ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one!” and it is in that moment that a bond begins to form. Re-gifting friendship simply brings more folks into your life enriching your journey, making your path more bearable and providing you with opportunities to nurture another.

The Gift of Grace – This is a word we don’t often use today. I know there are times I expect others to grant grace to me without extending the same consideration to them. I teach middle school children. If ever there were a population that could utilize every bit of grace one might possess, it is this group. However, I find that when I extend grace (re-gifted if you will) it does pay forward. I notice that others in my life tend to become more gracious, even 12 year olds. This season is your chance to re-gift grace. I am speaking of grace in a more intimate context—that within our families, friendships, spiritual communities and homes we grant Godly grace out of love and openness.

The Gift of Silence – Well, heck—I would love to re-gift this—if only I had some given to me. Seriously, sometimes I find myself talking way too much and listening way too little—just ask my 19 year old he will gladly back my story. I used to love silence. It was in the still of those quiet moments that I would feel most centered because I was actually making the effort to listen. I rarely spend time in silence today. Since Don died I can’t even go to sleep without the television blaring in the background and when I am cooking or cleaning—noise is a constant companion. I believe this holiday; I will re-gift this one to myself and set aside some time to simply be quiet.

The Gift of Hope – There are so many folks out there who have lost hope. They may have owned it at one time, but for some reason it has been stolen from their lives. Hopeless people come in all shapes and sizes; in all ethnicities; in all socioeconomic classes; in all emotional states and sometimes are right in front of our eyes, but we fail to even notice. This gift comes wrapped in various packages. Hope sometimes presents itself in simple ways like in a touch, a glance that says we understand or in a warm embrace. Re-gifting hope could possible require much more of you. It may call you to give time, effort, or resources in order to reach out in hope to someone else. Life is hopeful. It is the way we were meant to live-by all means it is mean to be re-gifted.

So go ahead—I give you permission, even encouragement, to re-gift ANY or all of the before mentioned gifts. I believe you will find your holiday season much more gratifying and rewarding if you do.

This I know for sure…


Chadly said...

I wish someday I can write something this deep or even think it for that matter.

Annie said...

What a lovely gift to us, your readers. Thank you.

The silence thing. I had a hard time with silence after Will died too. MP3's or tv going all the time, now I sit in silence most of the time in my afternoons writing and find I don't really notice that the sound is gone. I am too filled up with my thoughts or the thoughts of whoever/whatever I am reading. I don't think that silence is a matter of practice. It just arrives and takes up residence.

your dad/granddad said...

To Chadly,

You can only know what you are taught and experience. God,time and events of our lives tend to give us wisdom. It is out of wisdom that great thoughts emerge.

First, you must learn to think.
Second, you must learn to think correctly.
Thirdly, you must learn to develop other thoughts out of the original.
Fourthly, you must learn how to express those ideas.
Fifthly, you must make those ideas your own (we are not polly-parrots only expressing what others say...when that is all we do, we become urchins...poor beggers of other's wisdom).

I believe you are not recognizing your own ablity to express or give credence to your "brain power". Look at the experiences of your short life time and see how they give you wisdome to make decisions of importance. Son, you are wiser than you believe you are.

Keep maturing...and the wish you made above will become a reality.