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Gratitude: The Role of Benefactors

“Travelers, there is no path. Paths are made by walking.” ~ Antonio Machado

Gratitude is an essential practice to those looking to truly trail a spiritual path. But unlike most of our customary mannerism, genuine gratitude does not come from a spill of flattery words or meaningless gestures, but it originates from a heart trained to receive and to recognize the receiving.

Gratitude is a complex subject to be discussed because it involves the direct knowledge of the art of receiving.  Many of us, believe receiving means we are not in control, that we are needy, vulnerable and weak.

In reality, nothing can be further than the truth. Gratitude is an antidote to humiliation, helplessness and also a powerful tamer of the Ego. To be grateful is a valuable skill to be acquired.

“Does not the gratitude of the dog put to shame any man who is ungrateful to his benefactors?” ~ Saint Basil

It is a challenge even to determine who are those that perform the role of our benefactors during a lifetime. But like any other spiritual exercise, it demands resilience and continuous work.

Who is a Benefactor / Benefactress (Benefactrix)

By definition, a benefactor is a person that confers benefit; the one that kindly offers to help someone else other than himself.

But they can be more than just mere helpers, as they can bestow more than just material assistance, they can be bringers of light, support, teachings, initiations, or even, in some cases, they can be custodians of bad news. There are many types of benefactors with the physical benefactor being the most easily recognizable.

The emotional benefactor can be identified as someone that has provided us with moral support during our life transitions and rites of passage. The last category of benevolence and the less recognizable is the mystical benefactor.

The role these individuals perform can be easily ignored. Sometimes, their presence is not noticed, as they can show in our lives for just a brief moment, to give us advice, inspiration, courage and sometimes, a piece of information; just time enough to change or add an element that may be out of alignment with our personal story. They enter our lives for a reason.

“No man is an island, Entire of itself, Every man is a piece of the continent.” ~ John Donne

There is an interesting point that may be clarified: As Angelical beings can be considered as benefactors, not all benefactors can be regarded as angels. Most are merely human.

No man is an island or isolated from the great plan of evolution. Everyone plays a role, like note in a symphony: all are necessary to keep the harmony and rhythm. Each one of us is made of a succession of small stories, life teaching and examples of others.