You give something away, the recipient says “thank you”. If it were that easy, gift-giving wouldn’t be so difficult but in reality, it is among the most difficult social actions.
Where so much money is spent every year on gifts by occasions, giving must be of paramount importance. And indeed, for most people, giving is extremely positive (but it also has its negatives). Anyone who gives something acts unselfishly and does good of his own free will. And the recipient receives attention and appreciation. In the gift, it seems, a mindful coexistence condenses into a symbol that has overcome the lowlands of selfishness.
Banning Influential Gifts To Politicians
Giving Demonstrate Superiority
But altruistic tendencies are never the reason for larger financial stakes. And so it is clear that those who buy a gift often have completely different thoughts. What does this gift actually say about me, the person giving it? What sign do I send with my gift to the recipient – and to all those who watch what I give away? Could my gift even serve to demonstrate my superiority to others?
Gifts are tools that can be used to shame people. Because a gift that comes unexpectedly can never be fully weighed. On the contrary, the person giving the gift forces the recipient into the role of being thankful. The recipient can express his or her gratitude either habitually or through counter gifts. In both cases, however, a reaction remains. And the mere reaction lacks the moment of initiative. As a result, counter gifts are lacking in the power of selflessness.
This leads people to give more than they actually want to or can give. They spend themselves in giving because they no longer want to be embarrassed by being given gifts. Instead of rejecting the gift, which would be the worst possible break with the convention of giving, the gift is accepted, speculating that it will leave others speechless with their own gift.
Gifts Connected To Politics
It is obvious that gifts have a deep political dimension. What does the accusation of political opponents mean that they would only distribute cheap election gifts? What if people get the feeling that they are being given presents by political representatives? Isn’t it a particularly subtle but effective power technique to give people presents? With the goal of discipline through gratitude? So what if the economic logic of giving and the dependencies it contains become politically effective? So when politicians give away knitted shirts, the shirts become politically linked.
Politics get tangled when it deals with categories of giving. Because there is an interest in every gift – which means that there is never a clear distinction between a gift and attempted corruption. Correspondingly, one of the most complicated social actions is to give someone something without becoming intrusive. Every gift remains a small, political-social risk. How it ends, however, is decided only in the act of giving.