By Megha Bajaj
When you receive with joy and gratitude, life will give you more and more, says Megha Bajaj
I have two nieces, of nearly the same age, whom I adore. I have seen them in their diaper days, and then pass in and out of the ‘pink phase,’ and am now seeing the 13-year-olds in their ‘our-friends-mean-the-world-to-us’ phase. They see me as an important person in their life too, and share their secrets, their lives, and their dreams with me.
They often come and spend the night at my place on weekends, where all of us cuddle up, watch movies, cook, and talk the whole night through. It always made me very happy to buy them gifts. Although they both meant the world to me, of late I felt more inclined to one of them, Tia (name changed), a little more than the other, Aditi (name changed). In fact, I realised this while I was shopping for them. Every exciting thing I saw, I somehow kept thinking of Tia’s happy face, enthusing over the gift. For every book, every CD, I kept feeling, “Oh I should get this for Tia, or I should get that for Tia.” The thought of Aditi was coming almost as an afterthought, a guilty reminder that if I bought something it would be for both of them.
I wondered why I was feeling so, as I handed both of them the CDs I had picked for them that weekend. As Tia opened hers, she immediately broke into a big smile and said, “Hey I was just looking for this! This is amazing… thank you so much.” She hugged me from behind, immediately opened the CD, put it in her discman and listened to it with an expression of such deep contentment that I could not help but sigh happily thinking that all those hours of scouting in the mall wearing heels had been worth it.
Just then, my eyes fell upon Aditi. She too came, hugged me, and said, “Thank you.” However, her thank you seemed more courteous than heartfelt. Also, unlike Tia, she dumped it in her bag and began to play games on my laptop. As I was watching the two of them – my precious girls – a beautiful insight happened.
|It struck me that just the way I was beginning to feel inclined to buy gifts for Tia, wouldn’t life too feel the same way for all those people who felt extremely grateful about what was given to them?|
The reason I felt excited to get things for Tia was not because I loved her more than Aditi – it was because of two reasons. First, she always felt such genuine gratitude that I felt like getting her stuff just to see that expression on her face. Second, if I bought her a T-shirt, she would almost always change into it and show me, if I bought her a book, she would immediately begin to skim through it – in short, she would instantly show me that she values the gift by using them. Since Aditi did not respond the same way, naturally, over time, I had begun to think of Tia on all my shopping expeditions. She enjoyed it more, so I felt like giving more.
Suddenly I felt as if a tumbler of cold water had been poured on my head. It struck me that just the way I was beginning to feel inclined to buy gifts for Tia, wouldn’t life too feel the same way for all those people who felt extremely grateful about what was given to them, and used life’s gifts, rather than stacking them away and always feeling they didn’t have enough? I was awed by the realisation. While I decided to speak to Aditi about this in private, I couldn’t wait to have some time alone with my God to just thank him for all the gifts he had showered upon me – some of which I had used, many of which I hadn’t. However, things are about to change.
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