Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!

"...besides love, independence of thought is the greatest gift an adult can give a child." - Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One

For old quotes, look here.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Gift in Two Parts

There are two sides to a gift - the receiving and the giving.

Part the first, receiving. Most folks like receiving gifts - who doesn't like holding a neatly wrapped parcel of possibility? After all, an unopened gift is anything you can imagine, swaddled in colorful paper and topped off with a tousle of ribbon. Whether it's soap or diamonds doesn't matter in that moment of anticipation - it's the Universe in our hands, Schrodinger's Cat waiting to be observed and thus defined.

Not everyone likes to receive a gift, though - they feel awkward, perhaps even beholden. To them, I wish to explain....

Part the second, giving. I know that sometimes giving a gift can seem a chore - the co-worker you don't much like but drew in the office secret-Santa exchange, or the neighbor who is a real pain in the fundament about your yard, kids, or pets...but most of the time, you give a gift because you want to celebrate, share in the joy, show some love. You take the time to find or make something that you know the recipient wants, needs, or will enjoy. There's time involved, and thought. Believe it or not, some of us are more interested in giving than receiving gifts. We don't want one in return - we want to know that we've done something right, that you'll find use, comfort, or enjoyment in what we gave you. We want you so see it for what it is, a tangible piece of the genuine love and affection we feel for you. Even if you don't particularly like receiving gifts, suck it up, smile, try to see it for what it really is, and say thank you.

It's a two-way street, folks...try to remember that, OK??


Susan said...

Excellent advice that I needed to be reminded of right now. How'd you know?


Anonymous said...

This was well-said/written. I prefer to give gifts, and I know what you mean about the gift you get from giving. I will try to remember that when I am on the receiving end too.

Kyddryn said...

Susan, welcome to the sisterhood of the single brain. be afraid. be very afraid. Also? You're welcome.

birdpress, thank you. Sometimes it helps to look at things from another perspective...especially when "things" equals a pink velour robe three sizes too small and two decades out of date. :-)