My instant reaction to just seeing the word ‘snakes’ is to recoil and run! Yours too?!
When my brother was a little boy, he had another idea about ‘snakes’. He wanted to do something nice for Mom, so after a good rain he was out digging in the mud and gathered a handful of …. worms. To him they were snakes, and he proudly presented his ‘gift’ to Mom, grinning ear to ear, as if he’d found some exotic treasure! She however, wasn’t nearly as excited about it as he was.
I’ve often reflected on that story with not only fond memories but life lessons too. Some of the nuggets I pulled out of this moment in time:
1. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure, as the saying goes. Often what we consider to be beautiful, fun or endearing, may not be to someone else. When giving a gift, make sure it’s something the person wants, not just something you find intriguing.
2. Joy comes in the act of giving. There isn’t much that beats giving of yourself to another soul.
3. It doesn’t have to be expensive to be thoughtful. It just needs to be real and heartfelt.
4. In the heart of all of us is a desire to give. Nurture that, don’t extinguish it with selfishness.
5. You never know where you’ll find adventure. It could very well be in your own back yard. Don’t put limits on your experiences, live for them!
6. When on the receiving end of a gift, be gracious and kind even if you want to turn tail and run! See the true heart of the giver, knowing they put effort and energy into the gift.
7. Life’s not meant to be stifled, it’s meant to be lived in full throttle, recognizing the gift that it is, all in and of itself. That day my brother certainly had this one figured out.
Now go dig up some worms – er – I mean snakes – and make someone’s day!