December 2011 The Good in Giving is a Given, But
What About Receiving? By Harry Carpenter
In 1958 I was flying back to Ankara, Turkey, af-
ter a three-day holiday in Istanbul. I was sitting next to a Turkish officer and we had a pleasant conversa- tion to pass the time. As we were landing, he said he wanted to take me on a double date with his wife and her sister. Well, why not? Life was pretty dull being one of only 20 army personnel in the capitol of a large country.
We went to the best restaurant and had cha-
teaubriand steaks, drinks, and dancing. It was an awkward night because the officer’s wife and sister did not speak English and I only spoke a few words of Turkish.
Before I go on, I have to explain something. We, US Army personnel, were
rich, really rich, by Turkish standards. We received per diem on top of our regular pay, and we were allowed to purchase Turkish lira on the open market, something American tourists could not do legally. To get an idea of our living costs, we (four of us shared an apartment) paid our 6-day a week, 10-hour a day maid/cook $13 a month. That’s $3.25 each—per month! Okay, back to the restaurant.
The check for dinner and drinks was $10. I tossed in half because I knew
that was a lot of money for the officer and it was nothing to me. The four of us shared a taxi home and they dropped me off at my apartment.
The officer walked me to the door. He hotly told me that I was his guest and I had insulted him in front of his family. He never wanted to see me again.
Well, that was a shock. I realized there was a cultural aspect to my action that I had been unaware of. But still, I learned an equally important lesson:
When someone wants to give you something, and they are sincere about it, accept the gift graciously.
It is noble to give, but every giver needs a recipient. So receiving is just as
important as giving. Do not deprive a person of the joy of giving. Thank the giver and accept the gift.
– Harry W. Carpenter Author of The Genie Within: Your Subconscious Mind.
Note: The Publisher has 2 of Harry’s books and will send them to the first 2 people who make an email request – firstname.lastname@example.org
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in
swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the
field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory
of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring
you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour,
which is Christ, the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped
in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the
heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will
toward men. Luke 2:7-9
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