Some people feel strange when, after having given them a massage or Reiki “treatment,” I say thank you. They have asked me why I am thanking them. After all, I have just done all the work.
There is something I have known for almost as long as I remember. It has set me apart, made me strange.
But also it has set me free.
This is that thing:
If in giving, you don’t understand that, every single time, you are also receiving, then you are really not giving all that much. To acknowledge what you receive from the act of what is commonly defined as giving is to acknowledge the value and power of the the “receiver.” To do otherwise is to devalue that person.
This is the essence of my All One Fund. I call it “charitable” for lack of a better word. I only hope that we all appreciate the charity we receive when we dole out those ones and fives and twenties to a person, place or thing in “need.”
I once had a housekeeper from a different country and a different perceived social status. My family and I often made ourselves feel good by being generous to her. One day, after having received a box of clothing her sister had got cheap on the street in New York, she came in with a few items she’d picked out to give me.
She said, “I thought you could use these. I think they’re your size.” She looked me straight in the eye and said without words, “How does it feel to be a charity case?” I did flinch, but I met her deep brown-eyed stare with glistening eyes. And I said “Thank you.”
The woman in the video below, Traci Ruble is getting it. She has been a psychotherapist for years. Now she is understanding the awe-inspiring healing and transformation that comes in giving and receiving without the power differential.
As I listen to her, I thank my parents, my god, the lucky stars…whatever it was that made me change my mind after studying psychology to pursue education higher than my bachelor’s degree. And I kick myself for all the times I felt lesser because of that decision. If I’d had more confidence, I could have said what she’s saying 20 years ago. But I didn’t. I suppose am not the leadership type, or I wasn’t ready. Which is perfect because neither was our society.
I wrote these three blog posts about my turning away from higher education.
Maybe they are cynical. When you have ideas that are important to you and the world is talking about something else, almost everything else, it is hard to hide your disappointment.
Anyways, the whole point of this post is to share with you Traci Ruble’s talk: