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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.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-12-14 03:59 pm (UTC)
Sentimental gifts are like hostages.

A friend gave me a picture once. He came to my house some years later and I could see he was looking for it- and was disappointed it wasn't there. What had happened was it had fallen off the wall and we couldn't afford to have the glass mended. I suppose I could have explained that to him, but it would have been awkward and I didn't.
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