“It’s not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving” Mother Teresa
What motivates your gift giving?
I was reading an article on depression this week. Depression seems to be as much a part of the holidays as parties and gift exchanges. What I found interesting is that the author, a psychologist / therapist, wrote that there is one action that has the highest success rate in relieving depression. Whether it was a gift (with thought behind it, not just randomly garnered from the sale shelf, but given with intention) or an action (i.e. helping someone clean house to get ready for the party or visiting a shut-in) the act of giving did more to relieve depression than any other tool in his tool basket.
There is something about giving that can help us shake off our doldrums. There is a release of the feel good hormones when our thoughts shift from what we don’t have to what we can do to help another. So we are biologically rewarded when we make that shift.
There are, of course, a wide variety of motivations that drive gift giving. Some motivations are noble, some are not. In fact the same person can have several motivations which change based upon who the recipient is.
Do any of these sound familiar?
- They need this and I have the money, I can buy it for them.
- If I buy them this they will think highly of me.
- I’ll get this. I don’t know what they want. They can always take it back and get something they do want.
- It’s quick and easy and I won’t look like a schmuck.
- If I get them this will they buy something expensive for me?
- What will they think of me if I don’t buy anything?
- I want them to like me.
- I know them, they would never buy it for themselves, but they’ll love getting it.
- I want them to have it and they can’t afford it.
- I want them to know I love them.
As you can see there’s quite the mix.
What’s the motivation behind the gifts you are giving this year? How much love are you putting into your gift giving?Feeling depressed and like you never get what you want? Give the gift of love in action, giving without thinking about what you are going to gain in exchange. Let’s see what happens.
FYI: Mother Teresa, born Anjeze Gonxhe Bojaxhiu August 26, 1910 – September 5, 1997, was an Albanian-Indian who became a Roman Catholic nun and missionary. She spent most of her life in India. Founder of the Missionaries of Charity a religious congregation of over 4500 sisters which manages homes for people dying of HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis. She was canonized September 4, 2016.