Daily Spiritual Insight from the Story of The Little Prince

It isn’t only children who expect gifts for the holiday season. Adults want to be catered to also and can be just as demanding as children.

The issue when we have expectations of gifts of a particular nature, significance, or value is that we imagine the world revolves around us.

We’re like the king on the first planet, really a tiny asteroid, the Little Prince visits after he leaves his own asteroid. The king is a symbol of the way we grandiosely want others to kowtow to us.

If we don’t think a gift meets what we deem our due, we are offended.

But equally, just as we want others to fulfill our expectations, we often feel obligated to fulfill what we believe they expect of us.

Priscilla has just gone through a divorce. Instead of having plenty of money to spend on Christmas gifts, this year she can barely afford to buy them for her immediate family.

“What am I going to do about all the people at the office?” she asks her friend Camille. “I always get them gifts, but this year I simply don’t have the money. What will I do when they give me gifts at the office party but I have none to give in return?”

“Accept them graciously,” Camille responds. “Why should you feel guilty? You can’t give what you don’t have.”

“Maybe I should buy them all gifts and charge it,” Priscilla suggests.

“And how will you pay it back? You don’t have enough income now, without paying interest on charge cards.”

How would you feel if you didn’t give gifts to many of the people you are expected to buy for at this holiday season?

What if you gave only to those you really wanted to give to?

Most of us would feel guilty if we didn’t buy for the people we work with, teachers at our child's school, and other significant acquaintances.

The guilt we feel stems from our need to be thought well of. Don’t you feel you have to buy all those family members and co-workers a gift? Wouldn't you worry what they’d think of you if you didn’t?

But when we feel obligated to give, it takes all the fun out of giving. It's no longer a joyous practice at all.

It’s no wonder many of us find shopping for the holidays exasperating and exhausting.

Gifts given on demand can no longer truly be said to be gifts. They are more like the payment of a debt.

Recovering the art of joyful giving is part of defining ourselves in a culture bent on defining us. It's about self-discovery, and through discovering our own loving self discovering how to bring pleasure to others, which is quite different from feeling obligated to meet their expectations.

In stating that it’s more blessed to give than to receive, Jesus not only asks us to examine our real motives for giving, he calls into question the baggage we attach to receiving.

It’s a direct challenge to the grandiosity of the king, who is strongly attached to having everything his way—a topic we’ll pick up again tomorrow.

Give because it's expected, because you feel obligated, or to look good in the eyes of others, and you can forget about it being more "blessed to give than to receive."

Author's Bio: 

David Robert Ord is author of Your Forgotten Self Mirrored in Jesus the Christ and the audio book Lessons in Loving--A Journey into the Heart, both from Namaste Publishing, publishers of Eckhart Tolle and other transformational authors. If you would like to go deeper into being your true self, powerfully present in the now, we invite you to enjoy the daily blog Consciousness Rising - http://www.namastepublishing.com/blog/author/david-robert-ord.