MEL walked past the steps of a light rail transit (LRT) station in Manila. He saw a poor, sickly woman on the steps with a five-year-old boy. They were both covered with grime. The kid was playing, oblivious of their plight. The mother had her hand extended asking for alms.

Mel reached out for some coins in his pocket. But then he felt moved to give a bill instead. So he did and placed it on the woman’s open hand and added a smile. The boy looked at him. Mel smiled at him. Then he walked away.

After a couple of steps he felt a tug on his shirt. Mel looked back, it was the boy. He handed him a stick of cigarette. Mel said, “No thank you.” He knew the boy needed the money and besides he did not smoke. He smiled and continued to walk away.

“Hey," Mel looked back, it was the cigarette vendor, “he paid for it. He bought it for you.”

Mel went back. Smiled at the boy, received his gift and said, “Thank you.” The boy looked at Mel with a big smile on his face then ran back to his mother.

The cigarette vendor knew a hidden truth: receiving is giving. He knew how good it would make the little boy feel that he was “able to give," from the very little that he had! Mel’s acceptance of the cigarette stick probably blessed the mother and child so much more than his bill!

I once organized a faculty retreat. We were hosted in the mountain rest house of a very generous lady. She did not charge us for the use of her house. To express our gratitude we sent her a card and a bouquet of flowers. She could have said, “You didn’t have to send me flowers.” Instead, she graciously accepted them and even thanked us. She knows how wonderful it is to allow others to bless you!

Remember the last time you offered a compliment and it was not accepted? How did you feel? “You did a great job!”, “No, I made a mistake…”, “I should have…”. Maybe you were the one given a compliment. Just receive it. “Thank you!” Period. Be generous! Don’t deprive the giver of the “joy of giving."

Oftentimes we think twice about receiving, concerned that we might be beholden to the giver. You will know when strings are attached to the gift. Maybe then you can say, “No, thank you.” Most of the time it’s just our pride. Set aside that fear. Be blessed by the benefits of receiving:

1. You will be a blessing to the “Giver!”

2. You will open your life to more blessings!

3. You will be a blessing to even more people!

Today, you will receive gifts, big and small. A compliment. Some help with your work. A cup of coffee. An invitation to catch up. Maybe a favor returned for the good you have done. Bless the giver! Accept them gratefully!

Have a Magnificent Monday!