When I was a little girl, I remember not getting everything I wanted. Sometimes I asked, and other times I didn’t. Whether or not I got what I wanted, I still had everything I needed. Yet, as I am decluttering this month, I am receiving some redistributed possessions. This has gotten me thinking about my own generosity and the accumulated stuff of life.
Sometimes I had to give up something in order to have what I desired. The first time I learned this lesson was when I was about four. I gave up my “blankie”–or rather the stuffing that remained of it–for a brand-new doll that talked when I pulled a string at the base of her neck.
Sometimes I had to earn what I wanted. I discovered the merit of spending my own money to buy a Cabbage Patch doll when they were popular in the 1980s. I still recall handing over that fifty dollars in a white envelope and receiving my prize.
Other times what I wanted was bestowed on me through no merit of my own. My grandparents were particularly generous with stuffed animals. My father once won a huge stuffed dog for me at an amusement park. My mother often increased my allowance for no particular reason that I could fathom.
But, no matter what she chose to give me, I put ten percent in the offering plate and sometimes a little bit more. I remember those white envelopes, too. I recall the giving up without any strings attached.
I wonder if these lessons are still being taught today. I wonder how well I’m teaching them. With our ability to make electronic transfers, have we forgotten the meaning of the white envelope? Is it because our puppet society is strung up by self-entitlement?
I wonder if we have forgotten what it means to sow and reap. That, before we can gather proceeds, we first have to disperse some seeds.