Sunday, December 20, 2015

When giving a gift: pleasure either way

Have you ever had the experience where someone offers you a gift, and it doesn't suit you for some reason, but you do not feel comfortable letting the other person know this? Perhaps you do not find the clothing attractive or fitting or have no use for the tool or nick-nack, but you suspect the giver would be offended or hurt if they found out?

It seems a major route towards the feeling of being trapped by your material possessions, where “your things own you, you don't own them.”

I plan to give a few hand-made knitted and fermented food gifts over the next few months, and I've been considering how to avoid this issue. I'm considering saying this as I offer the gift:

“I hope this brings you happiness. If you think it would bring someone else more happiness than you, then I offer you the pleasure of giving it to them.”

In this way there is no emotional trap, there is only pleasure – either the pleasure of use, or the pleasure of giving, or perhaps both over time. I like this especially with handmade gifts because there's no pleasure of returning the item to a store for cash back ;)