Just recently I gave somebody something and I wanted to tell somebody else who knew him or her what I had done. But I stopped and told myself that that wasn’t the point of the gift and it would instead have ruined what I had been trying to do.
We all in the past might have been a secret Santa to someone at holiday time and the best part of it was when the person didn’t know who had been doing such nice things and we had the secret thrill of seeing the other person’s pleasure and confusion when they found that something had been done for them or a small gift showed up at their door or on their pillow.
Often giving is more satisfying than getting. I know a lovely lady who when she gives a talk to children may give them each some unexpected treat like a candy bar or a dollar. The pleasure that she gets from this is reflected in the expression on her face and the timbre of her voice. She often does not have a lot to give, but she gives away what she has and doesn’t expect anything in return.
When someone gives something and does not expect something in return, this is true giving. There can be the delight in surprising someone with an unexpected present of something that the giver instinctively knows should be given to the other person at the opportune moment.
Gifts that are given with expectations of what the person who is receiving the gift must do in return is not a gift. Real “Gifts” come with no expectations and the giver will not be happier if the gift is accepted with great appreciation than if it is not appreciated and thrown away.
On the other hand, when receiving a gift, remember that if a gift (even if it is unwanted) is given in a spirit of joy and goodwill, often it should be happily accepted in the spirit that it was given. Most of us know that if a small child gives us a gift (even a pebble or a flower), we should appreciate it for what it often is an expression of love or affection and rather than keep it for themselves, they give it to you.
I am proud to be a moral person, not an amoral person; but this can lead to self-judgment and the feeling at the end of the day that you did something that might have offended others that you weren’t particularly proud of when you thought about it later..
You can become preoccupied with such possible mistakes to the point that it may spoil your day. You may go to sleep ruminating about what you think you did wrong and it may ruin an otherwise acceptable day.
Chock that one up to experience and vow to think before you do it again, but let it go. If you are that concerned, then you have already learned your lesson and surprise, surprise, the other person or persons may not have been upset at all or didn’t even notice it.
We all have an early-warning system like this once we decide to treat others like we would like to be treated.