I write about my life and life itself seen through my eyes for who can write through the experiences of others if not their own?

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Gift Giving

When a person gives you an unexpected gift are you supposed to reciprocate? Was a question posed today on the radio. 

Most answers said there was no reason to reciprocate, I must agree with them. I find pleasure in giving. I find delight in receiving. I love the surprise. I love to receive a gift because the person thought of me the same as I love to walk in a store, think of the person and buy them something, a card, a song, a magnet, something that tells them subtly I think of them . I find that it strengthens bonds with no obligation.  

I have a friend with whom I constantly exchange gifts. We never talk about it, we never plan it; we simply give to one another. If one day there is no gift, it’s all good, we never keep a score. That is rare.

It is rare not to keep a score because anything that is done regularly creates an expectation and a disappointment when that expectation is not met which in itself defeats the purpose of what a gift is meant to be. A gift is given willingly. There is no demand to receive in return. If reciprocity is done as a must then the meaning of the gift got lost in the exchange. A sense of obligation should not be part of a gift giving.  

I love an unexpected rose rather than a bouquet on my birthday.  I love my kid’s hand written note more than a Halmark card. I love whatever a friend brings to me that I didn’t know I was getting.  But more than that, I love to think of someone when I spot an item. After all gift giving gives much more to the giver than the recipient.  They already reciprocated when they looked at me and smiled. I don’t need more.