Daily Spiritual Insight from the Story of The Little Prince

“He’s got more presents than me!” Jimmy yells when, on Christmas morning, he discovers that his brother Tim has two extra packages beneath the Christmas tree.

“That’s because I’m Santa’s favorite,” Tim taunts. “He always gives me more things than he gives you because he likes me more.” Sticking his tongue out, he rubs the “injustice” in by chanting, “Na, na, na, na na!”

Jimmy, to whom the idea that it’s more blessed to give than to receive would seem stupid, is inflamed with envy.

Laying claim to one of Tim’s packages he yells, “I want this one!” A tug of war ensues over the still-wrapped Christmas gift. When Jimmy, who’s younger, falls against the Christmas tree and knocks it over, he bursts into tears and screams, “Mom, see what he made me do!”

The boys’ mother rushes in from the kitchen. Seizing the package she shouts, “That’s enough! No one will get it. Both of you go to your rooms and don’t come out until I tell you!”

Christmas morning is only a few hours old and already the household is a battlefield. It’s a far cry from the “peace on earth.” If only Jimmy had been given two more gifts.

In this context, let's consider some words attributed to Jesus: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

Sounds good, but is it really true? And if so, why? And why don't Tim and Jimmy feel this way? For that matter, why don't lots of adults feel this way?

Each January millions of people complain about the cost of Christmas, only to spend and complain again next year. Where is the “blessing”—the good feeling—in all of this?

For many of us, shopping for Christmas is an ordeal. The reason isn’t hard to discover. Whereas selecting a gift we really want to give and know will be valued can be a pleasurable experience, Christmas in many cases epitomizes giving because it’s expected.

Madison Avenue has persuaded us that gifts are proof of love.

So if we don’t get exactly what our children want, our our spouse wants, or our parents, we’re afraid they’ll think we don’t love them enough.

Besides, don’t children have to wear what everyone else is wearing and play with what everyone else is playing with so they won’t feel like the odd person out? Who wants their kids to grow up to be misfits?

My God, the way we've been taught by corporate America, if we don’t come through with the right sports jackets and whatever the current fad may be in dolls or video games, we could cause irreparable psychological damage!

Many children aren’t joyful recipients but tyrants with demands.

They require certain toys or styles of clothing, and parents feel obligated to provide them whether they can truly afford them or not. If our children don’t get what they want, they’re likely to pitch a fit. Since few things are more intimidating to parents, we cave in to keep the peace.

What we're seeing is a reflection of how the king on his asteroid feels about other people. It isn't more blessed to give to them, serve them, help them. It's more blessed to have them do your bidding, bend to your whims.

But there is a way giving can be more blessed than receiving, a way it can bring us immense pleasure. The key lies in how the king sees other people, a topic we'll take up tomorrow.

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.