Those who give have all things; those who withhold have nothing.

lakshmi1940sLakshmi

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“Those who give have all things; those who withhold have nothing.” – Hindu proverb

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Do you value generosity?

Do you consider yourself to be generous?

Do you see yourself as being a giver rather than a taker?

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My mother has always seen herself as being generous. She has often used the term ‘generous to a fault’ to describe herself… but the fault is never hers that she generously gives to others.

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She also has always seen herself as being a martyr and a saint… largely due to being generous to a fault. She gives and gives and gives too much… too much is never enough… others are never grateful enough or grateful at all.

Others not being grateful has been a fault of theirs which she generously complains about all the time.

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I used to accept and believe this truth of hers, mostly because she repeated it like a mantra all the time. Generously filling my ears with her talk, her endless talk…

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Did she ever walk instead of talking?

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Her talking was her walk… and she traveled far with it.

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Yet she could also walk and talk at the same time, she was extremely talented like that… although she often fell off of her shoes as they were usually not the sort of shoes designed for walking, they were mostly of the sort designed to be a talking point. She did love to talk about her shoes…

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One day, while walking and talking, strolling along a small and fashionable street, the glittering displays in a shop window stopped her in her tracks. The treasures glinting under the halogen lights made her feet and her mouth go silent for a split millisecond.

Then the walking and talking resumed.

Into the shop she led me.

I felt my entire being groan. Here we go… a different kind of torture is about to take over from the previous torture.

Inside the lights made the place warm with their glow. It was an Indian Summer…

The landscape was glistening gold, dappled with fiery rubies, deep sapphires and verdant emeralds.

Not real ones…fantasy ones which are always more beautiful than the real ones.

My mother drooled with dignity over each cabinet filled to the brim with costume jewellery… of the very affordable kind, the kind which you buy generously in bulk.

She took a generous amount of time to choose what she wanted for herself, once five pairs of ornate, enameled earrings were chosen, she turned to me… her shadow waiting for the torture to be over.

“You should buy a pair…”

It was not an offer, it was an order. If I did not buy a pair, I would suffer yet another different kind of torture. I had learned from experience that when she wanted me to do something, especially when she phrased it as a generous offer, I had better give her what she wanted or I would pay for it with the sort of talk that went on even longer than her usual talk.

Lectures were another one of her great talents. But of course for her they were not lectures but very generous, rare pearls of wisdom being thrown at a swine hoping to educate and elucidate the swine and possibly transform it into something more acceptable.

So, I dutifully chose a pair, a pair of which she generously approved, and bought them.

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Shortly afterwards she generously took me out to dinner. I was expected to wear the earrings which she generously ordered me to buy. So, I did to demonstrate my gratitude, knowing that my gratitude would not been seen as ever being enough, but we give all we can and then give more… in the hope, the hopeless hope, that a bottomless pit of greed and need will eventually be filled, satisfied… but it never will, for it does not will to such a will.

Throughout the evening these earrings took over the conversation and became the main point of talking.

By the end of the dinner I had been generously informed that the earrings were too beautiful, too elegant, too much for me, too large even for my big ears, too long for my short neck, too old for my too young age (although I was a teenager at the time, in her eyes I was permanently six years old). The worst crime of my wearing of the earrings was that too many other diners had been looking at them admiringly.

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I wore the earrings on a couple of other occasions. The results were the same, yet worse as the previous results were added to the subsequent ones and soon a generous sum would be reached – a sum of all fears.

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I eventually knew what had to be done. This had been done before. This would be done again.

I gave my mother the earrings. She refused, she couldn’t possibly accept such a gift… then she generously accepted the gift.

I was very grateful… yet not grateful enough, one could never be grateful enough towards someone who was generous to a fault.

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I saw the earrings again, once very briefly… they were too large for her shell-like ears, to heavy for such delicate lobes, too short for her swan-like neck, and really rather gaudy and gauche for someone as elegant as her, which is why she had not bought them, would never have bought them, in the first place and only had them because I gave them to her. Refusing my gift would have been rude, and she was always generous to a fault where being well-mannered, polite, was concerned. But they were beautiful, that she generously gave them and she would generously keep them in her jewellery box buried under all the other treasures which she kept therein.

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*Daily Prompt – Ready, Set, Done

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