Point of View // 12.12.2011

Giving without Expectations

Article by Abena A-T

The electric bills are soaring, the Christmas trees are up, the children are making their lists, the parents are panicking, the church services are being planned, and the cookies are being baked.  Ahhh, the Holiday formerly known as Christmas in North America has arrived!

Since tis the season for giving, we figured it was a perfect time to look our latest poll results.  We asked Tempo readers whether it was possible to give without expecting anything in return. Here’s what you had to say:

Of the 31 respondents, 17 or 55% of you said “Yes, you should always give without expecting anything in return.”

16% of you felt that in certain situations you should expect responses such as appreciation.

13% of you said that there’s nothing wrong with expecting something in return for your gift.

And only 3% of you said “We all expect something back when we give to others.”

According to these numbers, we can say that most of agree with the saying, ‘It’s better to give than to receive.’ Good! Stay this way.

Let’s be honest, it’s delightful to receive. But it’s especially touching when someone gives you something because they thought about you in love, not because they felt obliged to check you off their “people to buy for” list. Obligation giving happens way too much around the holidays. People get all stressed out and guilty and depressed. It’s quite sad. When we give because we want to be nice and make someone smile, it’s much easier to not want anything back. As for appreciation, we all naturally expect people to appreciate that we at least thought of them.  Anyone would be annoyed if someone looked at your gift with a flat expression that said “this is all?” I’d have to stop myself from snatching it back. Lol. But dwelling on how much people appreciate you can make us sour, so we should try and control our expectations there too.

My wish for you all this year is to not get stressed out about buying presents for people. It’s really not worth the stress and frenzy.  Especially when it will be forgotten and you’ll have to go through the same thing again next year because the calendar says so. But I do encourage you to give. Give gifts that matter- make time for someone you’ve been promising to hang out with for months, share your personal gifts e.g. artistic, musical talents, or donate to a charity. Heck, buy someone a cute clutch or a Wii, as long as it truly pleases you do to so and you’re not expecting one back (unless you made some kind of prior agreement :) ).

Leave a Reply