The other day, I took 15 minutes and re-read one of my favorite books from my childhood, Shel Silverstein’s, The Giving Tree. As a child and on through my adult life, my parents always enforced the same principles in that beloved book – “be a giver, not a taker.” “There are many people in life who are takers, always act with integrity, because giving always feels better than receiving.”
The simpler something is, the more complex we make it.
I don’t think we can help ourselves. Ok, that is an excuse. Of course we can, but for some, when we are a recipient of something uncharacteristically altruistic, it can generate a bit of skepticism and contemplation, “what did I do to deserve this?”
What The Giving Tree illustrated for me so beautifully, was that inside all of us are the same parts, it is how we choose to mechanize those parts, that make us different. The tree chose to grow its character using gratitude, love and kindness, regardless of how the boy reacted to the selfless gestures. I don’t believe the boy was being conscious of his selfish mindset. I think, like many of us, that he was caught up in his routine and stopped to enjoy the tree when it suited him. As the boy became a man, he knew to expect unconditional generosity and kindness from it, too. The sentiments expressed were suddenly tangible. It is what made the relationship unique and special. It was less about a focus on being a “giver” or a “taker” or being “selfish” or “unselfish” and more about the fulfillment derived from simple sentiments.
Inside what seems to be stark contrast, is synchronicity.
Give and take.
a cherry tree xo