This Maxim reminds us that we need to honor the kindnesses of others, whether they are directed at us or not. A benefactor is someone who does a good deed for others and often times they are doing these things without asking for recognition of any kind. This is why we need to honor those gifts by acknowledgement, and by the acceptance of the kindness that was done. The Gods honor a cheerful giver, but they also honor those who receive the gift properly – with the gratitude and honor due to the giver.
Our society does not teach us how to give or receive a gift in the way that the ancients did. Gifts are thought of by many as purely materiel things that are given out of a sense of obligation rather than simply because they are good to give. This devalues the gift as well as the giver. And part of the reason for this, in my opinion, is that people no longer know how to receivethe gift with honor. This is one of the hardest things to do properly as when gifts lose the sense of honor, they become meaningless – if they are not thought of as simply one’s due.
We need to remember that no-one NEEDS to give a gift. Because of this, we need to honor not just the giver, but the fact that the gift was made. We need to honor what was given as well so that we may be properly grateful. This is especially true of the gifts of the Gods – gifts that we definitely do not always deserve.