We’re submerged in a world of gifts and giveaways. Maybe we need to distinguish: a vital gift is a transformative gift.
An unusual place to go, but 14th century Christian mystic Meister Eckhart spoke about how “the fruitfulness of a gift is the only gratitude for the gift.”* this sounds like a description of a vital gift.
I’ve had many tell me that to gift my work to someone, rather than charging them for it, will mean they won’t value it. I totally get this concern, and I think their obversation may be right in many cases. I’m still left, though, with a question: where do gifts fit into our world if payment always takes precedence?
Whilst I value the gift, I’ve no way of determining whether it will be fruitful in the person I give it to. To gift is to take a risk. At least payment appears to assuage the risk.
As I’m reflecting on this, I find myself coming back to humility, gratitude, and faithfulness as means of preparing the soil for the gift to grow and be fruitful in.
A vital gift is a preemptive strike towards more giftedness in the world.
Not to provoke a gift in return, but the hope of a new gift – something which can only be grown inside a unique life, and the. gifted on to others.
Like the vital signs of life, a vital gift has its own telling marks: courage, generosity, and wisdom lived out towards others.
I still have to figure out how I pay for my bread and milk, but I can’t get away from this question about vital gifts.
Gifts ask questions.
(*Meister Eckhart – 1260-1328, quoted in Lewis Hyde’s The Gift.)