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Tony Grist

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An Unseasonal Truth [Dec. 14th, 2008|10:21 am]
Tony Grist
I'm sorry to say it, but Dickens was wrong. The Cratchitts would have hated the new, benevolent Scrooge even more than they hated the old, miserly one. You can't buy love by turning up on the doorstep cutting capers and waving a turkey by the neck. A benefactor- especially one there's no hope of repaying- is universally despised.

I've lost friends by being kind to them- and also because they were kind to me. Gifts- big one-sided gifts- can kill a relationship. Equality is replaced by obligation. Much better to sever the link than to be reminded every time you see a person's shining face that you owe them one. They say you should give anonymously so as not to reap the gratitude; I say you should give anonymously so as not to reap the resentment.

There are times when you have no choice but to give- because it's the only moral thing to do- but you shouldn't expect a reward. Rather the reverse.

[User Picture]From: sorenr
2008-12-14 12:16 pm (UTC)
I've some times felt really awkward if people have given me presents that were out of my league. There are a few differences, where i genuinely knew that the giver simply had a lot more money at his/her disposal than I did, hence making it less of an impact for them. I suppose that is always a nice perspective to put on things. In England my boyfriend earned quite a decent living (his Christmas bonus would exceed my annual salary), so I didn't mind that he gave me a 100-quid present and I gave him a 20-quid present in return (or that I lived rent-free in his flat while we were together), but there are numerous other cases where I've felt somehow intruded upon by an excessive present. Present-giving is a old, pre-contractual tradition, and somehow giving a present DOES include some kind of pressure on the receiver to return it in kind somehow.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-12-14 03:54 pm (UTC)
I was in an unequal relationship once where my friend had money and I didn't. Because he was paying for everything he built up a sense of entitlement. Bah, these things are fraught!

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