Today I received many special gifts from some students who are staying at my home. They came from China, so the gifts are special because it represents the Chinese culture. I was very happy to receive so many gifts that I even thought at the time that I did not deserve much. It is very nice to receive gifts when we do not expect, because it gives us a taste of recognition and gratitude.
I know it is very good to receive something, especially when we are not expecting anything, but it is more important to give than to receive. Often we give and expect to get something back; in this case, we are not giving, we are doing an exchange instead. Paul mentioned in Acts 20:35 that Jesus used to say: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” I know we live in a world where people are not taking time to think of others because they are too busy with themselves. We need to reflect on the things we can give. I was talking to my friend this weekend about children, about the most import things that they need to receive from their parents nowadays, we both agreed that what they need is time and attention! Your financial conditions do not limit you to give something to someone because you can give your time, something that you no longer use and so on. What can you give today? Stop for a moment and think, we have much more to offer than we imagine. God bless you.
Some people say “the best things in life are free”. I can agree to a certain extent, especially having in mind one of my favourite free things: “smiling”. A smile can say a lot, can give a lot and can receive a lot! When you wake up in the morning and walk past a mirror before your morning shower, do you smile to yourself? Have you tried this before? I do it every day and I can tell you, this helps me a lot! It is my soul saying good morning to my outside world.
I try to give as many smiles as possible, followed by “hi”, “good morning” and so on. I know this is seems to be a small and common gesture, but lately I can see fewer and fewer people doing it. On my way to work the majority of people are either busily looking at their phones or reading. People don’t have time to smile- they are looking for things online and missing opportunities to find those things just beside them. A smile can start a conversation, give comfort, or give hope. You can try it today: give your smile to someone, and if you do not get anything back, don’t you worry- there is more pleasure in giving than receiving!
Some days we spend too much time thinking about our past, about the actions that we made that brought us here, to our present. I believe that the majority of people spend more time thinking about what they did not do than what they have done. This because what we have already done is done! We know where it led! We cannot change it. However, what we did not do can take us to a distant place called “our imagination”. The imagination gives us a chance to change our present state of mind with the help of this small word: “if”. If I had chosen a different course. If I did not get pregnant so young. If I had given my last relationship a chance. If I was less scared to try new things. If I was brave enough to explore new countries. If I could go back to my past I would do everything differently!
Would you really? Are you sure? Maybe not! Look at everything around you, and I am sure you will feel good after contemplating your achievements; perhaps your kids, your job, your family, your house, your little place or your big place, your car that sometimes does not start, but takes you to where you have to go when you need it. The good thing about life is that every day is a brand new day. Therefore, you have new opportunities to change what you want to change and do what you want to do today and tomorrow and after tomorrow. Our past stays behind and helps us to understand our present; our future is far off, but we can create it today with the new chances that life gives us. So enjoy your present, and make the most of your life with the chances that you receive every day!