I recently ran across a quote that I posted that gave rise to so many thoughts that I just had to share the message that I received. The quote is:
“A gift consists not in what is done or given, but in the intention of the giver or doer. – Seneca”
I can remember so many times when I struggled to find the perfect gift for someone for a birthday, anniversary, wedding or holiday and just couldn’t find what I considered to be “the right thing”. I spent so much time and effort and stressed out because I wasn’t sure that the gift would equal what was in my heart in telling the recipients what they really meant to me. As a result, I completely missed out on any joy that I may have felt over the carefully selected item that I had purchased or created.
I do appreciate every single thing that is given to me or done for me and I never forget those who have chosen to acknowledge me in whatever special way they chose. I know that I am better for each and every gift that has been sent my way.
The saddest part of gift giving is when someone does so out of a sense of obligation or necessity rather than anything from the heart. I have seen people give gifts on occasions because “they have to”. Take for example, the holiday selection for a boss for Christmas or something to an assistant because it is the right thing to do, not because you appreciate the job that they do for you each day. Or how about the special something given to someone as a result of a promotion or election to an office because you are hoping that it will give you the edge on being selected to move up along with the recipient.
I can’t begin to know how someone feels about any gift that I may give because the receiving of a gift is just as personal as the giving. There is no way of knowing whether a simple “thank you” is all that is uttered because a person may be so moved that they can’t say anything else at the moment. And how many times have you heard someone go on and on in their thank you to another, only to hear them tell someone else later how they really felt about the gift they received. When you really think about it, what does it really matter when all that is important is the intention of the giver or doer?
All of this thinking has left me with an entirely different attitude about giving. Going forward, I will not allow myself to get caught up in second guessing about how someone else may judge the gift that I give. I will focus on what I want to give and how I want to give it because it is definitely coming from the heart and that is all that matters. It doesn’t matter what I give, only that I chose to give you something because you are special to me or have done something or moved me in a way that I really want to acknowledge. Even if my gift to you is something as simple as a “thank you”, I will want you to know that it truly comes from the heart and that it isn’t given lightly. I do appreciate every single thing that is given to me or done for me and I never forget those who have chosen to acknowledge me in whatever special way they chose. I know that I am better for each and every gift that has been sent my way.
This week’s blog is my special thank you to Shannon McCarty Magee and her team who recently participated in an Avon Walk for Breast Cancer 2011 wearing shirts titled “We Walk In Honor of” and included my name in that list. What a special gift they gave to me!
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Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.