Free gifts

by Rod Smith

Free gifts we can give to everyone we encounter – intimate or casual:

We can give each other room to move, freedom, space, permission to be different, and separate. No permission is required given that all people are already free. It seems some do not know it or believe it.

We can offer each other a positive attitude, a can-do spirit, an approach to problems and requests with a cooperative, and creative drive. We have all had the draining experience of legitimate requests meeting unnecessary resistance.

We can give each other the benefit of the doubt, the stance that assumes no malice when things don’t run according to plan. An air of suspicion can kill any relationship, casual or intimate.

We can offer each other a listening ear before leaping to conclusions. It’s discouraging to talk to someone who is not listening or who has decided he or she already knows what you want to say.

We can offer each other hospitality, a welcome, an attitude that says “you are welcome in my life and I am glad you are here.”

We can offer each other genuine respect, validation, empathy and challenge. Subtle forms of rejection or superiority or condescension are easy to detect and deny any welcome we may try to pretend.

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