*) Marshall Rosenberg said: “Please do as I request, only if you can do so with the joy of a little child feeding a hungry duck.”
It seems like a little thing, giving without feeling a full YES. But it means doing a subtle kind of ‘violence’ to ourselves and to others. Because every time we give to others when we are not really fully willing, we build a little resentment. We erode our trust and the relationship. So I am learning to check for this hungry duck-energy in me before I say Yes to a request. And it’s so hard! After years of being raised to be a “good girl”, saying No still is really difficult for me in some cases. So I am practicing, and slowly gaining more awareness of when I am practicing Memnoon and when I am really being a “good girl”.
Thinking about this subject it came to me that I don’t even know what the word Memnoon means, so I looked it up. It is an Arabic word and has the same meaning as the word Mitzwah does in Hebrew. I judge it’s meaning as very poetic, I really had to ponder it a while, when I first read it, before I truly understood the words, but then it really touched me: “The request that blesses the one who is asked.”
Such a radical concept isn’t it? That anything we request can be a gift to the other person, a chance for them to contribute to us. That we bless ourselves by giving because we are fulfilling our own need for contribution. This spins everything I learned about giving and receiving on it’s head, all the messages I got about giving and receiving when I was younger. And motivates me to continue learning to live by this principle. To only say Yes when I really, fully feel a Yes inside of me. To do only that which makes me happy. Because that is the only time I am actually really giving without hurting our relationship.