A gift is defined as something voluntarily given, with no expectation of payment of any kind, intended to show favor towards someone, to honor a person or an occasion, or to assist an individual or an organization in need. Most simply, we view a gift as a tangible sign of gratitude, consideration, affection, love or goodwill.
In a perfect world, our gift would elicit delight and gratitude. The grateful recipient would be sure to use and enjoy our gift as per our intentions, whether expressed or merely implied.
Now THAT would be the gold standard of gift gifting, wouldn’t it?
But, wait! Such an expectation transforms the gift into an exchange, a crass transaction sucking the very spirit out of the gift itself.
In this cheapened form, the gift is more about the giver than the recipient and, therefore, no longer a true gift. It has become an obligation and a source of tension and regret, one better not given in the first place.
Life is too short to wallow in remorse, though. Damage control is far more constructive than waiting for a perfect outcome. There is no perfect remedy, but a decent remedy would be to hit the reset button on the gift, provided that the recipient hasn’t yet rightfully hurled the gift back at the insipid, non-virtuous head of the giver.
The reset button should display the following message:
“Please forgive any negativity which has resulted from this gift. I now re-gift it to you with an open heart. Please enjoy this gift in any way you see fit…or not.”
Better to ennoble our faulty spirit than to pander to our bloated, indignant ego.
And one last caveat: Be prepared to duck!
Art Credit: Trojan Horse from Vergilius Vaticanus (wikipedia.org)