Jason Lawrence Bell
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02-11-19 Give and Receive

02-11-19.                    AUDIO AVAILABLE SOON

     “Ten times I told you and ten times you did just the opposite. Why am I wasting my time with you?” The tall man stood there looking down at the small puppy and acted angry while his eyes showed the love that he really felt. The puppy who just finished pooping on the living room carpet, was ready to play and pushed the ball with his nose encouraging the man to throw it. While the man was cleaning up the mess it occurred to him. As he was trying to house train the puppy, the puppy was training him to throw the ball. Apparently, the puppy is a better trainer. ‘This about sums up his life’, the man frustratedly thought. 

     He was so accommodating to friends and family and work partners, but seldom was it returned. Why was he surrounded but ‘takers’ and he was clearly a ‘giver’? Where can he go to find friends or a place or a world where he will be appreciated and not taken for granted. His thoughts were distracted by the sound of mail dropping thru the mail slot in the front door. 

     He picked up the mail and one letter caught his eye. It was in a powder blue envelope with red printing. A closer look showed that the letter was addressed to someone else but had his home address. His name was Richard Michaels but the letter was addressed to Mike Richard. He thought it was a strange mistake, but the letter was probably for him, so he opened it. There were three pages. 

     The first page was simple, it read in large letters, ”takers on the left, givers on the right, stuck in the middle again”. It sounded like an old rock song, but what does it mean. The second page was not much more help. It was a list of word equations. “Give plus expectations = take missus appreciation” next “Take plus appreciation= give missus expectations” then “give plus appreciation =take plus appreciation”. This page was thought provoking and Richard sat down to ponder. But first he peaked at the last page.

      Two lines in red, “taking=blessing when giving=blessing”. And that was the last page, nothing more was said. No return addresses. But his mind could not release the formulas. And continuously analyzed them. 

     As he studied the words the red letters began to move around and shuffle into sentences. It read, “to appreciate a puppy so much that you teach it to live in your world, is a blessing for you to express your love. To appreciate a puppy so much that you allow it to train you for its world, is a blessing for you to express your love. The reward for giving is creating an opportunity to express love. The reward is within you not the response of others.” 

     Richard dropped the letter to floor. Somehow at a deep level Richard understood. He saw how he set up his friends and family to fail him with his traps of expectations. Then an overwhelming since of love for all them flooded over him. And he felt so thankful for them. He realized that when he gave, it was him who received and that is what needed appreciation. Richard set back in his chair and realized something had changed within him. He reached down to pick up the letter, but nothing was there. He looked around, smiled and soaked in the knowledge of being blessed. Peace.