Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Gifts - are they from the heart?

Do I recognize a gift when it is given to me? Do I actually release a gift when I give it, meaning no strings attached? Why does one give gifts? Out of friendship, out of love? Given with no expectations in return? None? Really? I don't expect a thank you face to face or a written note or an email? I don't? Well then I must really be giving a gift for all the right reasons. Put yourselves in my shoes for a moment - if I send a gift, don't I expect a response of some kind? Why? To know that they received it - that's a good reason. To know that they can't believe how clever or thoughtful I am - is that a good reason? When do I ever really give something and expect nothing in return?

Enough questions. You probably get the point. In reflection I've come up with the following answers for me. When I receive a gift from a friend or acquaintance, I do want to recognize that they've been clever, thoughtful, or generous. They've brightened my day or lifted a burden and I want the giver to know that. So depending upon the giver and the exuberation over which I've received the gift, I send an immediate email or pen a note for the next post.

Anonymity in gift giving may come the closest to not seeking self glorification; e.g., tithing at church - it's anonymous or almost so. "Someone" does count the money as it comes in, so "someone" knows. Anonymous carries its own burden, or maybe downside, that being - no one will know what a good person I am if I contribute anonymously. (BTW - I have a notion about tithing that if churches published tithing in categories like symphonies or other non-profits - you know the kind - the $100 and below givers, the $105 to $499 givers, etc. up to the $5000 and up givers, I believe gift contributions would increase significantly). And putting aside monetary giving, giving one's time seems a very valuable commodity these days and in giving selflessly to a cause or person or organization, I believe a volunteer's time to be a true gift from the heart.

Finally, you knew this would come up - the ultimate gift - the gift of our lives, the gift of our salvation. Some would say the gift of salvation is the ultimate gift, forgiveness, no questions asked, no service required. I think, for me, that the gift of life may inch ahead of the gift of salvation because the gift of life I have immediately, now, at once, at hand. I'm breathing in and out, it doesn't take my imagination to ponder what this life means to me. My response to that gift - well, I want my Creator to know that I love the gift, it goes beyond thoughtfulness and imagination, it is ultimately the true gift that I've received. I am not required out of courtesy or embarrassment or peer pressure to respond by letter, phone or email. But you know, I cannot help being thankful every day that I awaken for the gift of my life.

In conclusion, I would pose to myself and to anyone reading - if I believe that life is the greatest gift I've been given and that there are no strings attached, do I want to respond to the Giver anyway and how will I and how am I responding today, this week, this year? It's a big gift - think it over, are there ways that you respond in gift giving that you feel fall into the "gift from the heart" category? Just think it over, you mustn't feel obligated to send me a comment, but maybe it's the least you can do since I've just given you this gift for reflection:)


  1. kigen8:18 AM

    Thanks so much for this insight on our gratitude for existence, a joy to ponder and to answer, yes to answer, every day, in doing and being!

  2. Why, you are thinking *gifts* too? Nice to be on the same page, so to speak. :)

  3. Kigen, thanks for your positive words in response to the post. Our life is so wonderful, even when it's not!

    LL - have been enjoying visits to your site. Your writing is of great interest to me. Thank you for visiting here!

  4. you totally crack me up...cuz it's like you take the words out of my head and pop them onto paper - especially the questions!

    i have a much easier time appreciating the gift of life because it is here and now. it is real. i can taste it. touch it. see it. live it and love it. expressing gratitude of this gift brings me great joy!!

    expressing gratitude for you, too. i hope it brings your joy...let me know :-) xoxoxo