Six of coins. Generosity. Hand outs. Charity. Strings.
There are so many things wrapped up in this card for me. I give to the homeless when I can. I do my best not to judge if they are “real” or not. That’s not my place.
There is a gentleman who works a corner near my office. He is an older man with mahogany skin and a snow-flecked beard. He has kind eyes. I gave him money the first time I saw him and have looked for him since. Saw him on my way home tonight.
I gave him money again–not a lot…just a dollar. Then I talked with him for a few moments. It was surreal really. Talked about how nice the day was and how I had been locked up in the office most of the day. He mentioned it had been nice to not get rained on. As I drove off, I realized that I’d just had my very own six of coins moment.
See, one thing I tell my clients is that you have to watch out when someone gives you something. There are often strings attached. My grandmother was really good at this. She would give you money as a gift then try to manipulate you into doing something her way. I never did get good at standing up for myself with her so I tended to avoid her. Now do not get me wrong. My grandmother was an amazing woman. She was loving. She was intelligent. She rocked. But she also didn’t give freely.
So I tend to associate this card with that kind of generosity. “Here. You can have this but I want this from you.”
And I realized I did that to this homeless man today down on Lamar street. I drove off feeling so good about myself. I’d not only given him money, but I’d spoken to him as well. Then I realized what a shitty thing that was to feel. I mean who am I to think my talking to him for the few moments the light was red was a gift to him? He probably thought I felt obligated or something.
In a way I did because I didn’t want him to think I was too good to speak with him…have a real conversation I mean. But what amazing ego on my part, right? I didn’t just give him the dollar. I took something from him because I made myself feel better than those others in the car behind me who didn’t even offer him a smile much less a buck and a few real words.
I failed my own test. I did not give to help him. I gave to make myself feel better. I handed him money to give myself a leg up emotionally. I felt so sleazy when I realized what I’d done. I mean a bad taste in my mouth.
I’m not really sure how I feel about all of this processing. I’m going to try to give to people without expectations more. I’m going to try to manifest the true –to me– sense of the six of coins. When I give, I don’t want to feel as if I’m trying to get something back. I want to give freely.
I think that by giving freely and without expectation, I am creating a better me. What do you think? What are your experiences with giving and recieving? Are you a better giver than a getter?