Skip to main content

De regalo

You've probably seen one of the Free Hugs videos. I saw one from Mexico last week, and once again found myself richer for a language lesson. The Spanish phrase for Free Hug is Abrazo de regalo. De regalo. It means as a gift. There is no reference to cost or no-cost. It is a gift.

It set me thinking, in this season marked by giving--this season often turned into buying in order to give--how so often our lives fall into patterns of sales. Sell and succeed. Buy and own. If we buy enough services and "stuff" from each other, we will all be successful, so the current culture says, acts, advises.

But what if? What if we just gave? Let's say I need shoes and you need a coat. What if I give you a coat that I have that I don't need and you give me a pair of shoes? What if I need an understanding ear, and you need someone to pick up soup for you at the store because you have a cold and shouldn't be out in the weather? What if you listen to me and my dilemma for an hour, giving me a sounding board and an outlet, and what if I go to the store for you, helping you to protect your health?

Couldn't we accomplish the very same results by giving to each other as we often do by selling to each other?

Do you realize how special a regalo it is to give someone words of encouragement? To compliment rather than complain? To accept rather than judge? Or, give the most valuable gift of all--give your time to and for friends and family and persons in need. Just that. Just time, the stuff of life.

Giving has nothing to do with our budgets and everything to do with how we choose to live our lives. It may be the one infallible key to a successful and satisfying life, along with the other key, that of being humble and grateful upon receiving a gift from someone else.

Not at all a new idea. But still revolutionary, enlightened. And possible.

My best wishes for you and yours this holiday season. May many good things and experiences come your way in the new year de regalo.


Text copyright 2007 Ysabel de la Rosa
Image copyright Amanda Rhodes, from istock.com
Image is not digitally altered.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Thank you for tis Regalo.

Popular posts from this blog

Life without Television, Part 2

I began life without television with relief, which was consistent Monday through Friday. The first few weekends, though, felt awkward, anxious, lonely. When PBS has good programming on Saturday nights, it is extraordinarily good. Father Brown, Phryne Fisher, New Tricks... Extraordinary acting, high production values, and I fantasize about the pudgy, brilliant priest just perhaps having an innocent crush on one of his special parishioners, which would be moi. 

I called a friend one Sunday. "Maybe television helped with my anxiety more than I realized," I said. She told me about her aunt who, after her husband's death, kept the television on in his "man cave" 24/7. He has been gone years now. The television goes on, everlasting, in his absence. I don't blame her. Much of my frequent and prolonged television viewing began with grief.

After my sister died, I would watch almost anything, especially late at night when sleep eluded me. I even watched Convoy with …

Our Texas, My Texas: "Memories we carry like scars and diamonds"

This post title includes a quote from Hermine Pinson's poem, "Four Sisters and the Dance." As you read, it will become clear why.

I was 7 when my father earned his Ph.D. from Duke. He then accepted a teaching position at a small private college in a rural Texas town in the 1960s. Population was 5,000, give or take a few. Our Texas roots ran deep, and we saw this return to the Lone Star State as a homecoming. So, I left the lyrical landscape of the Carolinas and the small private school where I had become nearly fluent in French. Then, I entered the hot, dry world of that small town. 

We did not yet have a place to live. Our family of five, including our infant brother, camped out in the girls' dorm for several weeks. Our furniture was stored on the university theater stage while my parents searched for a home. I was riding in the car with my dad and a member of the university administration and overheard their conversation. My father wondered where he could find help …

Whose day?

Years ago, I made some collages using pages from a desk calendar from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The image that leads this post is one. Inside the hearts and flowers is a picture from the MMA collection of  a Japanese screen made in the 16th century. It is titled Tagasode, which means Whose sleeves?  The title comes from a 10th-century poem:


The fragrance seems even more alluring than the hue, Whose sleeves have brushed past? Or would it be this plum tree blossoming here at home?
Iro yori mo ka koso awaredo omohoyure tagasode fureshi ado no ume zo mo
The word haunts: tagasode. Whose sleeves? The question floats in my mind like a cloud on a still day. The sleeves materialize in my mind's eye. I hear them move through hushed air. I can imagine, though not name, the scent of the person to whom those sleeves belong. It's not unlike smelling the scent of your infant's clothes, or holding the perfume bottle that belonged to your mother...you don't need to open it... you know tha…