It’s a deal! But what do I get in return?
It was a spring morning, the sun was out; and no sign of rain. The past two days had been an archetype of ‘raining cats and dogs’. It was the Spring half term, and the weather had prevented Ola from visiting his friend, Chima. Since the sun was out this day, Ola’s mum [Mrs Majekodunmi] decided to kill two birds with a stone. She wanted to go shopping and couldn’t leave Ola at home by himself.
A play date it is then! She said to Ola.
Within the next 20 minutes, Ola and his mum were on their way to Chima’s house as his mother [Mrs Ikechukwu] had said it wouldn’t be a bother to have Ola at hers, as Chima would love it. Mrs Majekodunmi had packed some of Ola’s favourite snacks, before their departure for Chima’s residence. She dropped him off, exchanged pleasantries with Mrs Ikechukwu and left for her shopping.
Although it had just been four days since Chima and Ola had seen in prep school, they started catching up as if it had been four years. While they were playing with their DS games, Chima became hungry and wanted a snack, he went to the kitchen; took a pack of Hula hoops [cheese and onion]. He opened it and started eating. Ola asked to taste it. Chima gave him one ring out of the possible 30 rings in the pack [they are his favourite].
Uhmmmm, this is yummy! Ola shrieked. Please, can I have some more? he asked
Chima frowned, Okay! I will give you but what do I get in return?……………..
I can honestly identify with the above scenario. As a child, if you were ever going to get any of my sweeties, biscuits and all, you should be prepared to console me with something more enticing [valuable]. After all, you were definitely shortening my ration.
Here’s the drill: being a child comes with its innocence, naivety, and all sorts. So there are so many things that can be overlooked. But with time, those childish thoughts and behaviours need to go.
It is quite sad that in the world we live in, giving is drastically becoming an ‘extinct’ act. We have more transactions and exchanges [trade by barter] than giving. So if a person must give something out, something must come in as well. When you say “I am giving a gift”, expectations for a reward should be ‘knocked off the table’-that’s the difference between gift and commerce.
If today I give someone something, and the motive behind my giving is to get ‘an equal’ or ‘bigger’ reward, then it is not a gift any more, it is a transaction. Naturally, human beings are wired in a manner that ‘if I give, a reward should follow suit’. But I am a firm believer of giving generously not expecting a repayment. How can this be possible? The Holy Spirit work this out in us.
So if every time you give and your motive behind giving is to get back, then I consider this statement as wrong– ‘I gave Betty a perfume’ and this statement – ‘I sold a perfume to Betty and she gave me £40 or She gave me a pair of shoes instead of cash’ as right.
As a sign of courtesy, it is expected that when you receive a gift, you give something back, I am well aware of that. But the truth is when you are giving genuinely, you do not expect anything back. As a receiver, you are under no obligation to give something back. If you can give back, and want to give back, give! But if you can’t give back, don’t kill yourself trying to give back. There should be a difference between gift and goods.
So do you think there are certain circumstances where you have [compulsory] to repay a gift?