Wouldn’t birthdays be duller if we had to give each other the exact same thing? In that world, we would sit down with each of our friends and family members at the beginning of each year and figure out the thing we were going to get each other. Then when our friend’s birthday came, we would wrap the present out of tradition, but they would already know exactly what was in the box, how much it cost and where to buy it. Then on our birthday, our friend would wrap our present, but we would already know what was in the box, how much it cost and where to buy it.
There would be a strict equality in this system and at the same time it would be utterly predictable and boring. This system would lack much because birthday presents would become more of transaction than an experience of the joy of giving and receiving.
A huge part of the excitement of opening gifts is to be surprised, to not know what is in the box, to shake the box, to guess what’s in the box and then finally to open the box to see if your guesses were even close to the real deal.
The gifts we receive can be much more amazing than what we expected. And the experience of giving a gift from a place of joy is one of the most rewarding experiences of being human.
Both giver and receiver are free. The giver is free to give. The receiver is free to receive.
The world of gift giving often doesn’t run as smoothly as it might because we are often uncomfortable receiving gifts or feel we have to give an equivalent gift in return. As mothers and fathers know, gift giving is not equal. They give their small children life and their small children give them scribbles to hang on the wall.
In our minds, we can go through our day appreciating the priceless nature of the gifts we give and receive. Even in the checkout line at the grocery store, what we are giving the cashier goes beyond mere money. We are giving our love and support to a complex system of producing and selling food that keeps countless people alive. In return, we are getting the gift of groceries that we keep use alive.
You and I can start thinking about all the gifts we give and receive each day. Many gifts will involve money, and many will not. Wealth as a giver and receiver of gifts may well be a wealth that is far more extravagant than having untold millions of dollars in some bank account.
Game Of The Day
Appreciate and celebrate all the gifts that you give and receive today. Gifts can include time, money, support, love, beauty, food and much more. Be creative and think outside the usual boxes presents come in as you recognize the gifts that you give and receive.