This is the Holiday Season when our focus often turns to the process of giving to others. It is a time that summarises our gratitude and provides a pathway to give back for all that we have received.
The following excerpt from poet, David Whyte offers an inspiring and deeper look at what it means to give and how the process of giving can re-define the authenticity and the essence of our relationships with others.
Giving means paying attention and creating imaginative contact with the one to whom we are giving, it is a form of attention itself, a way of acknowledging and giving thanks for lives other than our own. The first step in giving may be to create a budget, to make a list or to browse a storefront but the essential deed is done through the door of contemplation: of the person, the charity, the cause, finding the essence of the need, the person or the relationship. Out of this image comes the surprise of understanding and the ability again to surprise the recipient by showing that someone else understands them and through a display of giving virtuosity, can even identify needs they cannot admit themselves.
To give is also to carry out the difficult task of putting something of our own essence in what we have given. Better to spend a long time sitting in our armchairs in silent contemplation of those we want to gift, looking for the imaginative doorway that says I know you and see you and this is how I give thanks for you, which may bring us to the perfect object but also might bring us instead to write the short heartfelt message that acknowledges their place in our lives –
May this Holiday Season find a way for your giving to be authentic, aware and love-filled – it is the light we all need to receive in a very dark time in human history