To Rich Givers
What you give me I cheerfully accept,
A little sustenance, a hut and garden, a little money, as I
rendezvous with my poems,
A traveler’s lodging and breakfast as journey through the States,–
why should I be ashamed to own such gifts? why to advertise for them?
For I myself am not one who bestows nothing upon man and woman,
For I bestow upon any man or woman the entrance to all the gifts of
– Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
“Walt Whitman is the patron saint of being at One with The Universe and All That Is.” This what what is said to me as a copy of Leaves of Grass is set onto my desk, opened to the passage entitled To Rich Givers.
I’ve not read all of Leaves of Grass, rather choosing samplings from time to time, opening the huge book to a random passage to answer a random question. (Reading Leaves of Grass in its totality is definitely on my “Life To Do” list) I do not know this particular reading. I read it. I agree with the patron saint identification.
In 7 lines, he has poignantly and breathtakingly given me another lesson in humility. Humility is a hugely misunderstood stance in our world. Most see it as meekness, service that extends outward only, never inwardly. It’s often confused with minimizing ourselves. We politely demure in all kinds of ways and situations, holding ourselves in a state of “less than” saying “I can’t” or “but not me”.
I’ve witnessed myself doing this. I hold back from tooting my horn with a false sense of modesty. Why? To make others “comfortable”? Or is it to make myself comfortable? Who do I empower by doing this? Certainly not myself, and I do not share with others my gratitude for life, my gratitude for having the gifts that I offer to the world! Therefore, I do not encourage others to know that they, too, can share their light!
Humility gratefully acknowledges the tremendous blessings of life. This includes Self! This includes all that we are and all that we have to share. Humility boldly receives and passes on. Humility IS boldness. It is boldness that speaks in a voice of love, when judgment is the standard, boldness that speaks in a voice of peace when there is encouragement to demand aggression.
Toot your horn! Settle into gratitude, boldly expressing humility, and watch what happens…