What is the greatest gift you received or the greatest gift you have given to someone? Did it cost much? As we get older we begin to appreciate that the value of a gift should not be measured by its price. The timeliness, the thoughtfulness, is it given out of love and or friendship or obligation or intent to be repaid. I think for me it was 45 minutes of business advice from a ‘many times over’ Billionaire, the time he gave me was far more precious and appreciated than if he gave me £20,000.
Its not what we give but what we share, For the gift without the giver is bare. Who gives of himself of his alms feeds three, Himself, his hungering neighbour, and me.
A true gift conveys part of the giver. It speaks of the thought, the choice, the effort; that for no matter how brief a moment you were thought of in a way which was special. You would hope that the receiver absorbs that but you never can be sure. All human relationships have a tension and the giving of the gift has a tension of its own. I know what I have given you but I don’t know what you have received. That tension is unavoidable and is part of of life and makes relationships the greatest puzzle of all.
If you type in gift in your phone you will likely see this: 🎁 the gift emoji, a boxed, ribboned present. In the western, capitalist, consumer world this is how it is best typified. The best gifts however are not given in wrapping paper they can be many things impossible to wrap, attitudes, gestures and a sentiment to name a few are all special gifts we can bestow and cost us nothing but reward immensely.
The Japanese tea ceremony is such a wonderful non emoji example. A person would invite a friend over, decorate the team room beautiful smelling blossoms, inscriptions on the wall which represent and celebrate the friendship. That simple example is so profound, a gift which costs very little but speaks to how the person is thought of by the giver.
OK, I have to run but I hope that has made you think a little about the gifts you give and receive gifts. So now one last sage advice from a movie I watched which is more traditional but if followed will change your relationships with the ones you love, enjoy: