ICFE eNEWS #11-36 - December 1st 2011

Here's a new Christmas article from the AskMrG Library:

Giving and Receiving - It's An Attitude

This time of year we focus on giving and receiving. Have you ever stopped to consider that those two words are found at the very core of our perspective toward life?

Simply put, most of us divide into one of two categories - we are either givers or receivers. Our perspective toward life, toward other people, and toward ourselves determines which category we are in.

I heard of man who visited a friend and found him to be somewhat sad and discouraged. The man said to his friend, "You seem sad today. Didn't your great aunt die a few months back and leave you a $15,000 inheritance?"

"That is correct," responded the discouraged friend.

"And didn't just last month you win that drawing for a brand new car?"

"That is correct, too," replied the friend.

"So, why so gloomy today? It looks like things have really been going your way lately?"

The friend responded, "Why so gloomy? I'll tell you why. It is already the 25th of the month and nothing good has happened yet!"

Sad to say this story illustrates an attitude that is prevalent today. The attitude that says "I deserve to be getting something in life," "It's all about me," "Everybody owes me" attitude. It is the attitude of receiving, not giving.

I remember a missionary friend telling me how his family had delivered a carload of groceries to a poor family with eight children. He explained how the father had watched out the window as bag after bag of food was carried in.

As the last bag of groceries was placed on the kitchen table and the missionary family walked toward their car to leave, the father called out to them, "I hope you remember that this won't last us all month!"

Receiving is all about us. It is focused on self and sees the world revolving around us. With so much self, there is little room for gratitude, appreciation, and thanksgiving. And there is very little room for joy.

Of course there are times in life that we may be placed on the "receiving end of the stick," and have to accept help from others. There is no shame in that. We set aside our pride and appreciate the generosity of others. There is true joy and contentment.

The Founder of the Salvation Army, General William Booth, was scheduled to make an important speech to his co-workers. It was to challenge them to be passionate about their work. He became ill and could not keep the engagement. In his absence, he sent a telegram to be read to his co-workers.

A hush spread over the audience as the telegram from General Booth was read. His message was clear although it contained only one word, "Others!"

So, will it be "Others" or "me"? Will we chose to be a Giver or a receiver?

That is our daily choice. I choose "others"! How about you?

Ask Mr. G
© Jim Garnett
AskMrG Financial Library
2216 SW 35th Street
Ankeny, IA 50023

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Sent by:

Paul Richard
President - Executive Director
Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE)

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