Saturday, October 30, 2010


We often visualize gifts as being something that is tangible and presented particularly on occasions. No doubt this is the most common form of what a gift is and often we are obliged to give gifts as a social obligation and a societal norm. This is also the precise problem with the concept of gifts; it is not a spontaneous gesture nor a purely voluntary expression. More importantly, we are constrained by the concept of tangibility and value more than appropriateness of the gift and the occasion or feeling that must underline the gift giving. The best GIFT is that which we Give Imaginatively Freely Thoughtfully

The most common occasions for gift giving are festivals, weddings, birthdays and send offs. These occasions are often influenced by societal norms rather than pure emotion of love and affection. The real value of the gift is in the feelings that are conveyed by the choice of the gift and the sentiments with which it is given. When we gift it must not be perceive as an obligation or else we do not give a gift thoughtfully. A good gift is well thought out and the receiver’s likes and dislikes considered, the suitability to the occasion clearly understood and the affection and sentiment to be conveyed will be reflected in the choice of the gift.

A gift given without any compulsion is often the most well suited because there are no constraints that limit the choice. If we are bound by the compulsion of returning in equal measure for what we have received or psychological coerced into giving because it is the norm or forced to make a show o giving because it is expected of us, then the tasteless choice of the gift and the poor grace with which it is given negates the very essence of gift giving.

Imagination is the real key to giving gifts. To begin with, a gift need not be really tangible, pricey or colossal. A smile is the most wonderful and spontaneous gift that can be easily shared and treasured by one and all. Empathy and sympathy are too emotions that are priceless as gifts when shared at the right moment with the right people. A thank you card, a letter of appreciation, a note recollecting the wonder years send to a long lost friend are gifts that are priceless for the receiver and really treasured by them more than the diamonds and gold that people consider valuable. Extending a hand of friendship, giving someone in trouble a helping hand, enquiring into the welfare of someone who is ill or in pain, helping an accident victim, spending time with the inmates of hospitals, old age homes, orphanages etc. are GIFTs which we Give Imaginatively Freely Thoughtfully

Action Points: 
  1. Make a list of your favorite school teachers, former neighbors, former classmates/ colleagues etc with whom you have lost touch. You will have take the effort of locating these people and then sending them a gift; it could be a tangible gift, a card or letter fondly remembering them, it could be a personal visit or telephone call etc. Pay attention to the response you get, notice your own feelings and emotions and ask yourself if you got a better gift in return for your gift.
  2. Make it a habit to take time out to buy gifts for those whom you want to give something. Make it a point to visualize the person, their choices, the likings and dislikes, when making your choice. Make a list of people whom you simply feel like giving a gift because you love them/ appreciate them/ you feel they could be in need of a surprise. Now surprise them with something different and give it spontaneously.
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