Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Riddle: When Is a Gift Not a Gift?

When is a gift not really a gift? When it's given to someone else in your honor. It sounds like a punch line, and in a way it is. I don't mean to sound ungrateful, but let me give it a shot. In recent years, I have received cards around Christmastime that essentially inform me that I am somehow responsible for a family in Sub Saharan Africa receiving an emu (I am embellishing a little). Forgive me if I do not see the logic in giving someone a card which says, in essence, I am donating this to a cause that I find important, and now I am doing so under the pretext that I am giving you a gift. Wow, now that is some creative gift giving! Not only do you get to point out that you are generous and charitable, but you get to do so while pretending that you are actually giving me something. I must say, I do not feel "gifted" in this respect.  
I am certainly not against giving to a worthy charity, but that is the point, I am not giving anything at all, I am being used in a very odd way to give to a charity that I may or may not endorse. And what if the donation is to someone or something that I find morally objectionable (like Planned Parenthood)? Since I am the one who is apparently so generous, am I then responsible for the consequences of that donation?  How about we compromise. If you want so badly to give to some venerable charity in my honor, at least give me some options; put a column of "check boxes" beside a list of charities that I can choose from, and then I may feel a little bit honored. But as long as you continue to purchase some exotic beast on my behalf, I would just as soon you leave me out of it, because frankly, you already have.                            

1 comment:

  1. Money for People