Here’s the thing: nobody I know needs any more material things. People I know need good health, they need more laughter, they need more time to relax and recreate with loved ones, time to create, but they don’t need NFL fleece hoodies, or another book, or a DVD, or coffee mugs, or ornaments. So I show up empty handed with a hug and eye contact and a listening ear. Presence. We need to give each other our presence.
This was part of a comment I left at Genie’s blog, “. . . in a bottle” about gift giving obligations. Before I knew it, she posted my remarks at Facebook — resulting in more “likes” and “shares” than I’m used to. What a fun gift — to see that my words were appreciated. Thank you, Genie.
Years ago, a friend of mine told me about shopping in the U.S. with a woman visiting from Malawi, Africa. They were looking for a gift for the woman to take back to Malawi for her daughter.
“How about a shirt?” my friend suggested.
“No,” the mother replied, “she already has a shirt.”
I keep repeating that bit of dialogue because most people I know (myself included) need reminders that our culture has a toxic relationship with possessions.
I, for one, would rather spend my time being, seeing, learning and making. Not getting. Even if that getting is for giving.