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Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Art of Giving

Gift: A thing given willingly to someone without payment
Present: A thing given to someone as a gift.
"Gift" is a more formal term, often suggesting something of monetary value formally bestowed on an individual, group, or institution (i.e. a gift to the university).

"Present," on the other hand, implies something of less value that is an expression of goodwill (i.e a housewarming present; a present for the teacher).

Humans have thrived and survived for eons by giving to one another.
When members of our ancient clan got sick they provided one another with a healing porridge and shade from the scorching sun.
  • Would you give your mother a gourmet box of chocolates for mother’s day but have them delivered on Father’s Day because “the shipping expenses were cheaper a month later?”
  • Would you buy your kid (the well-behaved one :) ) a bike for his birthday that only had one tire because “you’re doing him a favor by even buying him anything?”
  • Would you thank your boss for taking a chance on you by hiring you and then take him out to dinner only to skip out on the bill?
“Gasp!” You say.
“I would never!” You say.

Great, except this kind of “giving” happens often—the thing being given is not a gift or a present but a manifestation of the giver’s selfishness and disrespect for the recipient.

Recently, a friend mentioned she was getting work done on her website by one of her friends and she was getting a good deal. But because of the good deal, her friend took extra long in delivering the end product and was less than helpful in his customer service because, in his mind, she was not one of his higher paying customers.

Qualities of a good gift or even a present:
  • A reflection of the admiration, love, or respect you feel about the recipient (doesn’t have to be of monetary value)
  • Could be a referral, an article, a brainstorming session, a hug, your time etc.
  • Should contain all its parts and stick to its deadlines (I’m building you a website delivered in three months, I’m giving you a hug tomorrow, etc.)
A gift is an opportunity to give of yourself and get nothing in return. The gift is its own reward and perhaps may even be paid back to you in another form some time in the future.

A present is an opportunity to say thank you to the recipient for some act of kindness they bestowed upon you. And in our society a present is great way to ensure positive, healthy, and long-term friendships or business ties.

The act of giving is something we as a species have needed to survive and thrive since our cavemen ancestors. Somewhere along the way we may have forgotten that giving is truly an art. Its now up to us to use all of our creative juices to give of ourselves in a way that positively affects and changes the recipient for the better. All of our gifts may be insignificant by themselves, but as a whole they’ll ensure that in another two hundred years, the human species continues to thrive and grow.

The i’Mpossible Project: Reengaging With Life, Creating a New You is now available for pre-order. 50 authors. 50 inspirational stories of overcoming tremendous obstacles. 
Read a few sample chapters HERE.
The first 200 people to pre-order will get a “thank you” in the front of the book, and a free copy of the book The Gospel According to Josh: A 28-Year Gentile Bar Mitzvah.

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