I have this fabulously kind habit of letting people go in front of me in traffic. I smile and wave to let them slip into the lane. But when they don’t smile or wave back I turn into a pompous primadonna and loudly express some mock gratitude behind the safety of my windshield, THANK YOOOOOU, I say as we accelerate. I finally knocked off that obnoxious habit and now I just say to the non-wavers, psychically, I’m happy to help.
I’ve been thinking a lot about transactional giving these days. I’ll tweet about you if you tweet about me. They owe me a favour. You listen for five minutes to them so they’ll listen when it’s your turn to talk. Even Stevens. Transactional giving can be a beautiful commerce of support, and there’s nothing inherently wrong with that interplay. But if all of our giving is to secure our getting…then, well, it’s gross.
I think we need more gifting. Free kindness. Clean offerings. Zero expectations. Pure Love.
When I manage to gift away some kindness, I feel so much lighter, higher, loverly. I’m not carrying an expectation around with me after the gesture (expectations are such a setup for resentment.) I just wanted you to have what I could give. Because I thought you needed it. And it felt good to give it. And that’s that.
Because my entire life is not a business deal. And you know, I don’t want you to feel obligated to give back to me for any reason. I’m not a big fan of favours, I deeply dislike the whole concept of obligation. I much prefer Pure Love.
I haven’t reached Sainthood status in terms of gifting Pure Love to every human I encounter (I’ll work it into my quarterly objectives, though). I still have my attachments to what I give. I think gratitude is a form of consciousness and acknowledgement lifts up both the giver and the receiver. And I do love a great Thank You note. But I try not keep score anymore. Because my entire life is not a business deal. Because kindness is a renewable resource.
The fewer expectations we carry, the more we have to offer.
Photo credit: Catherine Just