Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

To Give Is To Receive December 10, 2013

I wasn’t trying to be funny. It was all just part of my standard outside routine. But tonight it may as well been part of a stand-up comedy act. I assumed play stance to the left. And again to the right. To the front. And to the back. And so on, for about 2 minutes.

Do I have something on my face?Meanwhile I heard it from the other side of the screen door. A sound that warms my heart. My people were laughing together (rather hysterically I might add) at my antics. There are few things in the world I love more than that sound. I knew at an early age people laughter would be a favorite sound of mine, in situations not that unlike what occurred tonight.

The first time was the night my birth mom and brothers spent in a homeless shelter. It was a frigid Wisconsin winter night (just like it is tonight) and at the mercy of a little girl who saw us shivering outside the window we spent the night in warmth. But that wasn’t the highlight of my night. That happened later when I heard it for the first time. A little person laugh. The little girl was laughing at a movie we watched together that night called “An American Tail.” I didn’t know it at the time, but I would come to view that beautiful sound as my Christmas gift that year.

The same sort of thing happened the following holiday season, which I spent with Jo and the man with the leather belt. All I wanted for Christmas was to see her happy. And she was. It didn’t last long, but it didn’t have to. It was Christmas and she was laughing and that was gift enough for me.

This will be my third Christmas in my forever home, and I know in my heart what I am most looking forward to about it. I can’t wait for Christmas morning when mom and dad traditionally open their presents from each other. (And it’s not because there is inevitably a toy or treat for me under the Christmas tree).

Even more surprising, it’s not because of the gifts they receive. It’s because of the gifts they give. I don’t witness the shopping, but I do witness every other part of preparation that goes into their gifts for each other. That’s why I know it doesn’t really matter what’s inside the boxes.

Because they ultimately give each other the best gift of all. Joy. From the ground up, it happens in ways most people wouldn’t even find entertaining. Like my antics in the snow today for example. I didn’t mean for anything to come of that. But as laughter is the embodiment of joy, so the real gifts in life are those we give. Not those we receive.


27 Responses to “To Give Is To Receive”

  1. Nikitaland Says:

    Oh Wiley, that photograph of you is adorable! You sound like you had a great turn out for your comedy act, and you definitely had to be funny to get that much laughter! Laughter is always the best medicine! πŸ™‚ We love you Wiley!

  2. […] To Give Is To Receive | Wiley’s Wisdom […]

  3. The sound of laughter is magic. Looks like you got plenty of snow! have fun!

  4. huntmode Says:

    Wyles, I have a custom now where I click on your photo to see it enlarged. It is as though you’ve entered my home or are outside our front door, as this one would seem to be. Golly, gee whilikers, Wyles, even your photos bring joy!

  5. utesmile Says:

    Giving is much fun and gives so much joy to me too, Wiles and a beautiful and warm feeling. You are giving this to me now looking at your picture which is beautiful with all the snow, you are giving me again my daily dose.
    I always read your post first thing in the morning and it makes my day happy and joyful.
    High paw and a BIG HUG! Have a joy and laughter filled day!

    • Dear friend,
      Thank you for your kind words. It’s an honor to know I am part of your day.
      I’m going to let you in on a little secret. If you look really close, you can see the snow sparkling in the picture. That’s mom’s favorite part. That, and the look on my face, apparently. πŸ™‚
      Lots of love,

  6. […] To Give Is To Receive | Wiley’s Wisdom […]

  7. […] To Give Is To Receive | Wiley’s Wisdom […]

  8. I have to say as I am getting older I love giving so much more – the thinking about the present and hunting for something they will like. Watching the persons face as they open the gifts!

  9. […] To Give Is To Receive | Wiley’s Wisdom […]

  10. you look great, brother. I so exhausted when they open their gifts too. It’s the moment of joy what makes it so special :o)

  11. Reblogged this on Wiley's Wisdom and commented:

    I’ll never forget the first time I heard a little person laugh.

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