Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Born to Give


Today is my 44th birthday.  (loud cheering and applause) Thank you, thank you.  No, really, thank you.

I am thankful on this day not only for my life, but for the many friends and family who make living  especially sweet.  As I drove to the tax collector's office today to get my driver's license renewed, my phone rang.  It was my niece calling from Connecticut to sing, "Happy Birthday" to me.  It was such a treat and not something I expected and totally worth the call while in traffic.

Birthdays are the days on the calendar when we are expected to receive.  People are expected to be nice to the birthday girl or boy allowing them to have their cake and eat it, too.  This avalanche of nice, for some of us, can be a big challenge.  We are more used to meeting demands and have become conditioned to act from a place that it is better to give of one's self rather than to receive.  "Receiving" seems decadent and selfish and just plain wrong.  But knowing how to accept kindness, love and gratitude is not a virtue to be dismissed.  If we give of ourselves all the time, without being open to receiving, then we will become depleted.  And once depleted, what is there left to give?   Like a lot of things,  I think this comes back to balance and being in right relationship with others.  When I consider my relationship with God, it is definitely one of giving and receiving.  God has loved me and beyond measure and without me doing anything to deserve it.  This love is freely offered.  And because of it, I am inspired to give love back; thus through the receiving, I become more giving.

Traditionally, I have encouraged friends and family to use my birthday as a time to make donations to causes that help the LGBT community in our continuing efforts to attain full equality.  I have thrown parties and encouraged people to donate whatever they would have spent on a gift to any number of groups.  I get tremendous joy out of surprising organizations with the news that they are getting a chunk o' change from Florida.  I call them my "Birthday Beneficiaries," and they are delighted.   For me, the pay off is in knowing that someone living somewhere else and facing obstacles based on their sexual orientation or gender identity will possibly benefit from services provided from these organizations.  They will be given shelter, or support, or the affirmation through humor that they are not in this life alone.   As I have said at other times on this blog, the incarnation of Christ in today's world is when we stretch our hands out to grasp the hand of another so they know somebody sees them and won't leave them behind.

 Past Birthday beneficiaries have been:

If anyone has a yen to make a contribution to one of these organizations, I encourage you to do so.  And enjoy that feeling of making a difference in the life of someone else.

From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded.

Happy Birthday to me!  Pass the love around!





Grandmère Mimi said...

A Blessed and Happy Birthday, SCG.

Anonymous said...

What a great surprise from Charlotte, honey and I am thrilled she called and sang to you. Wonderful to talk with you, and your message is great.


SCG said...

Thank you, Mimi!

SCG said...

It was a total surprise and very fun to get that phone call.