Some people have “the rich relation” in their family tree. Aunt Cindy, who is always traveling somewhere new and exciting. Cousin Richard and his lake house. Your sister and brother-in-law who buy a new car every year.
Oftentimes these relatives take great happiness in sharing their wealth. You can usually count on an exotic gift from Aunt Cindy’s latest adventure or an invitation to go out on Richard’s pontoon boat at the end of the summer.
Yet sometimes, that person wants something in return. Not money, of course, but something else. Attention. Flattery. Gratitude. Cindy wants you to ask her where she got the priceless artifact in Istanbul, so she can talk about the many antiquities dealers she visited. Richard wants you to ask about his new boat, so he can talk about how well business has been this year. Maybe the person just wants to know you like the gift or that the experience offered is pleasing to you.
This is a natural inclination that we all possess. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be the person people count on. There is nothing wrong with wanting to offer worthy gifts. There is nothing wrong with hoping that maybe, just a little, we might be appreciated.
What matters is the spirit we carry within our hearts when we do it. What matters is our destination as we approach that proverbial table. Are we headed for the place of honor, expecting it to be waiting for us? Or are we making our way to the lowest place, simply thankful to be invited to the meal?
— Tracy Earl Welliver, MTS