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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Gift & Present Distinction for Thanksgiving

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Hi there everyone!!

The word “give” and “gift” are similar enough for me to guess that they were at some point in history, from the same root word. We give gifts. That means a gift is given without any attachments. No occasion, no reason, no requests, nothing. A gift isn’t about waiting for something in return. A gift is completely free.

Presents do have other things associated to them. Presents are given on occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, and certain holidays. In some holidays, presents are exchanged so there is an assumption of receiving something in return. When we “present” an award or certificate, it is for a specific reason. Even spontaneous presents are signals of love, friendship, or other types of relationships.

Presentations are often delivered for something in return. School presentations for marks. Sales presentations for profit. Awards presentations for recognition. If nothing else, there is always a desire for recognition when delivering a present. As stated, there is also expectation associated to presents. That’s why often presents are wrapped. To lengthen and exaggerate the sense of expectation. There’s nothing wrong with that. The feeling of expectation is a great feeling and a great feeling to exaggerate. But it’s not about giving.

A present always has a physical form. A gift can have no form. A gift can be a smile. It can be a genuine compliment. It can be a pat on the back. It can be a word of encouragement. It can be a loving hug. A gift can be whatever the mind can conceive.

Give more gifts in life. The easiest person to give a gift to is a stranger. That’s because there’s automatically no expectation. There’s no recognition. And, if we walk away quickly enough, it’s impossible for the stranger to feel like they need to give something back.

None of these definitions are written to be technical. They are written to make us think and wonder about our language. For example, is making a donation to a charity a gift or a present? Since we get a financial benefit in return in that tax year, technically it is a present. But it all depends on the mind set in which we gave the donation. If we made a donation with the manner of completely giving without getting anything back, then it was a gift. The tax-break is just a gift to us from our government.

Whenever we give something to our universe, we always get something back. (This is also Newton’s third law in physics.) It’s like an unwritten law. The key is not to expect anything back. Just because we will get something back, doesn’t mean we didn’t give a gift. What makes a gift is the intention in which we gave it. If we give gifts often, we’ll likely get lots back in our life.

Let's love the world together...

[)anish /|hmed, Visionary

P.S. Check out this great 3-minute movie about giving.

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