Monday, 18 June 2012

The Gift

One of my daily draws with the Wild Wisdom of the Faery Oracle (Blue Angel, 2009) brought up this card.  Meditating on it, a number of thoughts came to mind.  The companion book speaks of accepting a gift, lovingly offered.  Still, that's far easier said than done.  And I wonder whether it's a good thing to even try to do.

Not for nothing do women suspect their partners of wrong-doing when presented with an unexpected gift.  If the partner can explain it in terms of something nice she has done recently, that's fine, but if not...

There is much to be said for reciprocity.  If I am offered a gift, at the very least I should give a thank you in return.  Oftentimes, a gift is given for a gift.  It doesn't necessarily have to be at the same time, but there is that sense of a balance needing to be created.  This has long been recognised, as discussed in Marcel Mauss' classic text The Gift.

Sometimes people talk about altruistic giving in terms of mothers with their babies.  Personally, I've yet to meet the mother who doesn't hope for a smile or a laugh or a cuddle from her baby when she's busy feeding and dressing and playing and changing poo-ey nappies and doing the million other things that babies want and need done.

Strangely, it is normally a lot easier to give than to receive.  If we receive something, we often feel that pressure of needing to reciprocate.  Meanwhile, when we give we can be happy with something which may seem far lesser - a smile and a "That's delicious!" for hours spent cooking and baking, for instance.  Many of us need to learn to receive more graciously, be it a compliment, a card or a gift.  Not that we will ever stop feeling a need to reciprocate, it seems to be human nature, but that perhaps we can value what we give in return more - a thank you really is valuable!

To those of you who take the time to read this, thank you :)