There are only two upsides that I have found while awaiting the next great executive opportunity. Yes, you can read that opening sentence as “he is currently unemployed!” First, I have been given some spare time to face my fondest dream of being a writer! I have been able to post to this blog fairly regularly, have managed to write and publish my first book, and have another three books in various states of completion. Second, I have had the opportunity to spend more time catching up with family.
The other night, I was reminiscing with my youngest sister. We were bouncing all over the place, recounting many of the antics that made up our childhood. Somehow, the conversation turned to a peculiar little ritual that she used to perform. My sister was about six years old when she would go out into the garden and grab a handful of stones. These were usually about two inches around. She would bring her geological treasures into the house and wrap them in whatever gift wrap was lying around. If the stone was big enough, she would even place a small bow on top of the minute package!
With great fanfare, my little sister would skip through the house bestowing her gifts on each family member. She would watch intently as we were surprised to be receiving her gift. She felt as much anticipation as the recipient while the stone was carefully unwrapped. Her face beamed as we once again fawned over the fact that she had gifted each of us yet another rock!
We were careful to not tear that worn wrapping paper, knowing that she would once again want to use it in the coming days. Before we knew it, each family member had a small collection of stones arranged on their nightstand! None of us dared take these tokens back out into the garden, for fear my sister would think her gifts were unappreciated! In the meantime, my sibling felt like she was bestowing the treasures of the Aztecs upon us and we were thrilled that she had thought of us so lovingly!
Thinking back on those fond days, it struck me that my wife has a similar habit. No matter what the occasion, she immediately requests the bow whenever a gift is being opened. She then carefully places the bow in a tub, where it resides with its fellow curled ribbons until another gift-giving opportunity. At first, I though that my better half was simply being frugal. Instead, as our relationship has continued to mature, I have seen that she associates each bow with the specific recipient and the actual gift given! She rejoices in reusing a bow because it reminds her of a past joyful event!
Giving rocks as gifts and recycling bows; it is pretty insignificant when you think about objectively. But let the thought bounce around in your heart for a few minutes and it takes on a new perspective. The contents inside the wrapping paper truly have no meaning! The fact that someone cared enough to present you with a gift, shared in your anticipation, and reveled in your delight, is purpose enough. The reused bow on the package usually goes unnoticed by the recipient, yet the giver knows better! She associates that bow with a series of happy memories, hoping to add this event to that catalogue of warm thoughts!
Have you given somebody a rock lately? Have you used that time-honored bow to create yet another happy chapter in your past? What if you took one of your loved ones to dinner tonight, for no other reason than to let them know you love them? Should you pause tomorrow morning, in the middle of the hectic weekday routine, just to remind your child of how much joy they bring into your life? Will you pay for a cup of coffee for that total stranger standing in line behind you at the convenience store? Will you know the thrill of giving somebody else a simple gift for no reason other than mutual happiness?
If you happen to open your front door tomorrow morning and see a tiny wrapped object with a tattered bow upon it; do not worry. I intentionally left it on your porch and can hardly wait for you to open it!