Especially during the holiday season, we are often involved with the
ritual of gift giving and taking. Many times it is fun to buy someone
a gift and some times it even gets to be a drag, but nevertheless, we
always end up doing it. Why? We give gifts to make someone else
happy and make them feel appreciated, but that is frequently forgotten.
If gifts become a token of status or a sense of ego gratification, we are
not giving a gift with love, but instead indulging in a selfish activity.
When gifts are tokens of love, it really wouldn't matter if the gift
is very expensive or simply a word spoken from the heart. If we give
gifts to get gifts, then certainly we must question our desire for material
possessions and try to see where it leads us. On the same note, when one
gives gifts to people because they expect it, he/she maybe doing more harm
by giving the gift since promoting faith in material things is akin to
encouraging misery. Buddha was once asked, "What is the greatest gift?"
and Buddha replied, "The gift of Dharma." Happy giving!
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