THROUGHOUT TIME the tradition of gift giving has woven itself into the fabric of most cultures and civilizations. In ancient Rome , the Latin word ‘donare’ was coined to designate this custom of giving a gift.
The English language has welcomed this foreign word into the bosom of it’s vocabulary as ‘to donate’. To donate incognito is giving a gift in its purest form.
It means to give freely and without expectation of benefit or reward or public acknowledgement. Today it often seems that we have lost this integrity of truly giving a gift as a one way kindness, a pure gesture of the heart. We instead have settled for ‘exchanging’ gifts. We draw names in order to be more efficient about this business of kindness and generosity. It is still a friendly way to be, if we do not count and calculate and set limits up or down. But often it seems like just making a deal. We have settled for becoming traders.
Doesn’t ‘exchanging a gift’ limit the spirit of this unbelievable feast? Expectations and sometimes disappointments and other human limitations sneak in and somewhat pollute the noble custom of gift giving.
As I search for the gift that will complement your life, please do not measure my generosity or lack thereof. I promise that I will not measure your gift should you give me one.. My joy in having the privilege of choosing a gift for you, is your gift to me. The value of your gift to me lies in the precious fabric and moment of the resolve in your heart to complement my life.
Shall we recapture the true essence of ‘donare’? If we do this well, then perhaps some day soon, we as a nation and as individuals will give to others without expectation of return, no strings attached, for The art and joy of Giving has it’s own rewards such as: ‘PEACE ON EARTH, GOOD WILL TOWARD MEN’