Be a Gracious Receiver

A Gracious Receiver

When a genuine kind offer is made or a gift is given to you, accept it graciously even if you don’t really need it. Always remember how the giver feels when you refuse.

By: Natasha Morgan

Most of us feel much more comfortable when we are giving than receiving. Being gracious is not always easy. We may feel embarrassed when we’re at the receiving end of an act of kindness and often don’t know how to respond. As a result, our actions or words could inadvertently slight the giver.

I’ll relate an incident that occurred on a subway train several years ago and I still recall it vividly. The train happened to be full and of course, no seats were available. I leaned against a post and planted my feet firmly for balance when a young lady got up and gave me her seat. I smiled gratefully as I sat down and waited for the train to leave the station. A few seconds later a young mother with a baby in her arms and a toddler firmly grasping her jacket entered the subway car. She anxiously glanced around and when realizing that all seats were occupied, she tried with great effort to hold the baby, the toddler and the post. I was surprised that no one rose to give up a much needed seat. Although she was not very near me, I got up, walked toward her and guided her to my seat. Within seconds, another young woman tapped me on the shoulder and pointed to her vacated seat. All four of us glanced at each other and smiled. It was as if a secret message of giving and receiving was being acknowledged.

Being a city dweller, I had the occasion to use public transport frequently. I witnessed many instances where a kind gesture was being offered and it was refused. Allowing someone to step ahead of you as you are getting on an escalator, holding a door so it doesn’t slam in the face of the person behind, and picking up a dropped item for a person with an armful of parcels take little time or effort and it’s often not acknowledged. A thank you, a smile or a small nod goes a long way to showing appreciation.

In our busy world where many of us are tired, over-worked and anxious, there are people willing to help others. Don’t turn your back on them. Consider how you would feel if at your work place, and in front of others, you offered to help a colleague with a project and she refused. You would probably think twice before making a similar offer.

My message is “learn to accept graciously” and practice it unabashedly. When you are thanked for something, reply “it was my pleasure”. When a genuine kind offer is made, accept it graciously even if you don’t really need it. Always remember how the giver feels when you refuse.



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