I love these words from a Chinese proverb, “The fragrance always stays in the hand that gives the rose.”
My husband, Peter, and I recently enjoyed a meal in a tiny Mexican restaurant next to a UPS store. As we watched people walking in, their arms loaded with gifts, we noticed the unmistakable glow of happiness on their faces as they pondered their loved ones receiving the carefully selected gifts.
Such observations disprove one of the many lies our fearful minds whisper to us: “Don’t give it away; you won’t have enough!” Not true. As many wisdom traditions teach, the more we give, the more we receive; it comes back to us tenfold.
How can this possibly be true when we’re surrounded by a grasping competitive world? The answer is: We’re all connected and the decisions made by one of us affect everyone around us. In any social group—from the spiritually inclined to street gangs—the behavior of the key members drives the behavior of the others.
We spread either love or fear to the people around us. In turn, they affect their own friends and families, and the circle of influence expands.
We learn to give and receive love through relationships because we are both student and teacher to one another. Imagine people holding hands while climbing a hill. The first person leads the person behind him, this person helps the one behind him, and so on. A stronger person helps us grow so we can extend that strength to another.
Try offering someone the rose of care and savor the sweet scent of joy. It may be as simple as a smile or compliment was given to the person at a checkout counter. Perhaps it’s a call made to a friend or relative to show them you care. You might simply stop and chat with a lonely neighbor.
Such generosity brings us closer to our purpose: to expand peace, love, and kindness. Isn’t that what the season is about anyway?
Gigi Langer holds a Ph.D. in Psychological Studies in Education and an MA in Psychology from Stanford University. She is a seasoned author of education (as Georgea M. Langer) and popular speaker who has helped thousands of people improve their lives at home and work. Gigi hasn’t had a drug or drink for over 30 years. Her new book, 50 Ways to Worry Less Now: Reject Negative Thinking to Find Peace, Clarity, and Connection, will be available in February, 2018. Click here to learn more about it.