Glad, generous giver seeks grateful receiver

The joy of gift giving can be overshadowed at this time of year by the thought of busy shops, frustrated shoppers, and a world that’s falling apart due to the unremitting demands of human consumption. I find myself caught between the desire to be generous, and the impulse to opt out of consumer culture and its false promises. Thinking about this, I came across a quote recently from Julian of Norwich, a 14th Century English mystic. She (don’t be fooled by her name) reminded me that the joy of gift giving is not found primarily in the gift itself, but in the relationship that exists between giver and receiver. She has in mind a more profound gift than any will we give this Christmas – the gift of life itself – but it seemed appropriate nonetheless:

A glad giver pays little attention to the thing he is giving, but his whole desire and intention is to please and comfort the one to whom he gives it; and if the receiver values the gift highly and takes it gratefully, then the generous giver thinks nothing of all the hardship and the price he had to pay, because of the joy and delight that he feels at having pleased and comforted the one he loves.

7 Responses to “Glad, generous giver seeks grateful receiver”

  1. avatar Kezia says:

    I love Julian of Norwich! Not many people throw her name around, so imagine my surprise to see a creative blog that appreciates beauty speak of her name!

    I found this blog through Ceri Rees. I met Ceri this past New Year’s Eve through mutual friends. We started to talk about the work at Dossier Creative. After reading through your website and especially after reading various entries throughout this blog, I want to be a part of this in some way!

    I love the entries on beauty and design! I’m inspired by many things! It seems every breath / moment has the potential for beauty. Thanks for reminding readers about the wisdom of giving from the ages, like Julian of Norwich. I experienced it this this Christmas, and it was pure joy! And that is beauty to me! If you start mentioning Henri Nouwen, I’m hooked!

    Happy New Year!


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