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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: poliphilo
2008-12-14 08:31 pm (UTC)
I'm not talking about any one particular person. I think all but the very saintly or very humble feel stirrings of resentment against a benefactor. How dare he or she put themselves above me by being so fuckin' generous.

Actually I'm not being entirely honest. I do have one particular person in mind- but s/he is only the latest in a long line.
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[User Picture]From: ideealisme
2008-12-14 08:39 pm (UTC)
You do not strike me as the sort of man who would give anything with an attitude of smugness or with any strings attached, though, which is why I am wondering about the recipient.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-12-14 11:07 pm (UTC)
It's kind of you to say so.

But I don't think the attitude of the benefactor matters. People hate receiving gifts they can't return. It's humiliating. The giver could be a saint and they'd still resent him/her.
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