I’m amused when I hear the expression “Gift Exchange.” Similar to hearing jumbo-shrimp, open-secret, or sweet-sorrow, the phrase is an oxymoron.
The word oxymoron is itself an oxymoron; in Greek, oxy- means “sharp” or “wise” while moros means “foolish.”
The only true gift is one offered without an expectation of anything in return — not even a “Thank You.”
In our western culture today, that’s a novelty.
Law of Reciprocity
If I give you something, you feel compelled to give something — back to me. For insight in how this is used and abused — as a tool of persuasion — in the realms of Sales and Marketing, just do a Google Search.
Now, you know why there are so many “free” offers. Whatever trinket you might receive, someone else has received much more — beginning with your email address. There is no “free” lunch anywhere, anytime, ever.
In fact, the Law of Reciprocity is a small facet of a much more powerful concept — Law of the Harvest.
Law of the Harvest
If we think of reciprocity as the gnat in the ointment, let’s examine the balm for our souls. Much in the same way that we stride confidently through our day relying on the Law of Gravity, we can take courage in an equally powerful Universal Principle — Law of the Harvest.
As we roll out of bed in the morning, we have absolute trust that our feet will stay in contact with the floor. We can have that same faith in a belief that whatever we sow, we will reap. There are seven components to this one simple principle.
- We harvest only what we plant.
- We harvest the same in kind of what we plant.
- We harvest in a different season than when we plant.
- We harvest more than the amount we plant.
- We harvest in proportion to the way we plant.
- We reach the harvest season only if we persevere.
- The cycle of planting and harvesting moves in one direction: Forward.
Guaranteed, this matched set to the above is also true:
- We can plant flowers, or thorns.
- If we plant corn, we’ll grow corn.
- Fall is a different season than Spring.
- Several seeds of wheat will produce a bushel.
- Plant a little; Harvest a little.
- Gardens require constant tending.
- There will be crop failures and bumper harvests.
Our society is a little short on heroes. The last time I remember hearing about John Chapman was in grade school. Yet, here was a fellow who simply planted, planted, and planted some more.
No thought of quid pro quo — “I’ll give to receive.” He simply gave.
In watching the video, I was reminded why our heroes have disappeared — they were not Politically Correct. Any story involving eccentric beliefs based on the Good Book as source must surely be subversive. Yet, his epitaph carved in granite is worthy of a hero: He Lived For Others.
The propagandists have taken the goodness inherent in natural law and twisted it for their benefit. Take a good look at those you’ve heard about who are held up by the media as thought leaders and what do you see?
Each of them has something to sell — which is already available to you and me without a price. They have made, are making, or are riding on the coattails of those who have extracted millions of dollars for preaching, “You can receive by giving.”
Although, there is a caveat. Each of the millionaires have a natural governor inherent in their sermons of self-confidence. There is a limit to what is possible within the physical realm. Go beyond that — and all bets are off.
The choice is ours — each and every day. We can buy a book, CD, video, podcast, or any of the other circus trinkets, while limiting ourselves to a pittance of what’s available. Or, we can follow in the footsteps of Johnny Appleseed and accept the priceless gift of natural law with its abundance.
We did nothing to earn it, deserve it, or otherwise bring it into existence. Yet, there it is — for our enjoyment. Are we wise enough to accept it? The price has been paid by its Creator. It’s so simple. Yet, the magicians of the marketplace want to sell the complex.
Here is the difference between self-confidence and belief:
You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.Zig Ziglar
Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.Good Book
One is a sales pitch.
The other is a guarantee of abundance.