Khalil Gibran - Autorretrato con musa, c. 1911
Khalil Gibran – Autorretrato con musa, c. 1911 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need. ”

“It is well to give when asked, but it is better to give unasked, through understanding…”
Khalil Gibran

I don’t talk about my family’s struggles in dealing with unemployment to get people to feel sorry for us.  I don’t discuss it in order to get people to just fork over money to us.  I do it to give a “human face” and a feel for what people go through when they’re living through this kind of “situation.”

Again, it’s not just about me.  It’s not just about my family.  It’s about others like me — others like us — facing the kinds of challenges that millions endure with the way things are today.

It’s not that we ask for this situation to be placed in front of us.  It’s not that we choose to live our lives this way.  It’s not that we enjoy it.  It can be agonizing.

It’s not about looking for sympathy.  It’s not about looking for handouts.  It’s about understanding.

After a three-week break, I get back into the final week of a three-week re-training program today, designed to try and get me back into the workforce.  I haven’t enjoyed that three-week break, I’ve wanted to get back to a paying job sooner rather than later.  There was a time I was giving serious thought to ditching my web programming training and getting into some training to switch careers and try being a car salesman.

I said that to one of my best friends on the phone as that thought was crossing my mind, and my friend — who knows me about as well as anyone — responded with, “A car salesman?”  It was said in a way that told me he had a hard time seeing me as being the kind of person to do that.

I could understand his response.  But when you’re the one who’s in the position of being the “main bread-winner” of the family, especially in this era of the words “you’re overqualified” essentially meaning “we can’t pay you as much as you’re going to require” or “you’re just a bit too old for us to hire you,” you think of all kinds of options in order to provide your family what it needs.

I still think I can do anything I put my mind to, even if it means selling cars.  With that option, it would more than likely mean going against some strong personal beliefs, but sometimes people are faced with “situations” that force them to do things they wouldn’t otherwise do if given a choice.

It was around the beginning of this three-week break in my re-training that we received very generous gifts from relatives to help us through.  Now, at the end of that three-week wait, we received another generous gift at church the other day from some good friends of ours, a gift which was totally unexpected.

We are, of course, very appreciative of those gifts.  They help to see us through.  At the same time, accepting them can be hard.  A nasty thing known as pride gets in the way.  It can feel … embarrassing.  Anyone who’s spent most of their adult life earning a salary or an hourly wage hates to feel like they’re needy.  On the other hand, to reject gifts such as these would be foolish and a slap in the face to those offering them.

Besides, one of the people who extended a gift to us said it very well to me:  “I know that if we were in the same situation as you, and you could help us like this, you’d do it.”

Yes, I would … in a heartbeat.  That’s still a goal of mine, to get in that kind of position to help others like that.

It’s that kind of reminder that helps us to accept those gifts with a grateful heart.

We’d be lost if it weren’t for the warm, caring, generous hearts of family and friends.

Copyright 2012, Daddysangbassdude Media


2 thoughts on “The ups and downs of receiving generous gifts

  1. I hear you & understand you. Wishing you the best. We’re in the next “dingy.” You have to do what’s best for yourself & your family. It doesn’t mean that road will take you to prosperity, but you can only hope that you get what you need.. (Can I hear “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by The Stones.) Do both if you can. A close friend of mine was a car salesman. He did very well.

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