What are the major risks associated with the act of gifting, be it giving or receiving a gift? Discuss it in the light of Emerson’s thoughts expressed in his essay ‘Gifts’.

In the essay ‘Gifts’, Emerson has discussed upon the various aspect associated with the gifts and the entire act of gifting. Be it giving away a gift or receiving one, gifts and gifting involve a lot of judgement in the entire process. Emerson states that the practice of giving or receiving gift is a delicate job that requires careful judgement.

There are certain risks associated with gifting; be it giving or receiving. Speaking about the risks associated with giving a gift, Emerson states the example of a ‘self-respecting man’, who, in his opinion, does not like receiving a gift, for such a person prefers to be self-sustained and, hence gets upset and unforgiving towards the gift-giver. Only those gifts which speak of genuine and unselfish love are well-received.

Another situation which Emerson discusses is the giving of the gift wherein both, the giver and the receiver, are close acquaintance and of equal means. In such a case, giving away of a common gift may be misguided as a slight, for the receiver might feel annoyed at the sight of a ‘small’ gift and get angry with the giver. Moreover, out of greed, he might desire to be given a large chunk of the giver’s asset.

Another case of risk comes when planning to give a gift to a magnanimous person, for no gift is apt for such a personality. When someone works for a magnanimous person, he rewards so profusely that one instantly becomes indebted to him. His generosity makes him a difficult person to be chosen to give a gift, such people are always ready to help the friend in need. It, thus becomes very difficult to extend even a minor help to them.

Emerson, in the essay, also discusses about the major risks attached to ‘receiving gifts’. Emerson tells and advices the reader to make a point of not taking anything more than the gift being given. He says that our expectations from other’s are limitless. We ask for everything ranging from earth, water, opportunity, love, reverence, etc. But such expectations are borne out of greed and laziness, hence are degrading in nature and, therefore need to be avoided.

Another caution that one needs to take care of while receiving a gift is the curbing of overt expression of joy or disappointment at the time of accepting gifts for it degrades the sole purpose of gifting. Being able to receive gifts with dignity and grace is a virtue. One should hold on to blatantly expressing disappointment at receiving a gift that is not liked much. Similarly, when the receiver likes the gift that he has received, he should hold back the expression of extreme joy for it’ll be embarrassing for the gift-giver to find that the gift, is adored more than the giver himself.

Hence, these are some risks which are associated with the act of gifting; be it giving or receiving gifts.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *