[Thoughts] Making the world better, (more than) one present at a time.

I beg you. 

I beg you, don't be one of those. 

Don't be another one of those, who appreciates a present, but frowns at getting two, and even panics at getting three or more, for fear of owing back. And who accepts those because it would be impolite to refuse, but keeps at a distance afterwards. If you keep your distances, let it be for something else, and give a thought at telling me why. It's not "quid pro quo", do not make a qui pro quo out of it. ;)

Don't be another one of those who, maybe, suspects me to "give" only because I want something in return. THAT WOULD NOT BE GIVING! The only time when anyone should feel they owe something is when they said they would give or do something, whether they formally promised or just mentioned it, and even then, one can always discuss in a friendly way about it.

Of course I am hoping for something back. But not necessarily from you! Many times I feel lonely and insecure, and someone holding my hand and talking to me kindly would be so nice to have. Many times I am stupid and childish and someone teaching me or criticizing me would make my life a bit better. I am probably as hungry for social connections as the next social animal, when lost out of its pack. Yes, I am hoping for something back, but from the universe, not necessarily from you, not necessarily now. Hopefully, making you a bit happier will make the universe a bit better, and a bit more likely to make me a bit happier.

And of course this is manipulation. In the literal sense as I use my hands to draw and build those gifts ("manus" is latin for hand, but you kind of knew that).  And in the figurative sense, as I try for you to remember kindly the moments you spent with me when you will see and use those things that I made for you, for you to feel some warmth in your heart in moments when you could feel stressed or isolated, lost in the clouds or into a crowd.

One thing this is not, is me prodding you in a direction that I chose for my own benefit without regard for your happiness. Prodding, a verb referring to how farmers prod cattle with small electrifying shocks. In the context of human relationships, that would be putting down comments, frustrating designed situations, pretended qui-pro-quos and misunderstanding (such stuff is probably what people think  about when considering "manipulation"). I tend not to inflict on anyone treatments that I don't want to be inflicted on me, I have been on the wrong end of the prod, and even while ignoring the sting, it still hurts. More importantly, if prodding was working on you, I would probably not be interested in you in the first place. We are not cattle.

Another thing that this is not, is buying out your love, or your friendship, or your time, or even your work. We both know what poor quality one gets when buying those with anonymous money and titles (I wish our respective bosses knew that too). "Buying" it with personalized, lovingly hand-crafted presents does not work better. Those things, in their very premium quality, are not bought. They are given. Selflessly given, to someone who inspires you.

So, those are my selfless presents to you. I had lost a lot of my inspiration, and for some amount of time the light came back. It really felt great to have it, to let it flow, and to see it shape into solid shapes almost as if by its own motion. It felt so good, I would be the one owing you if it was a zero-sum game. But that's the nice thing about it, right? THIS IS NOT A ZERO SUM GAME. You don't lose when I win. I don't lose when I give to you. We can both win at the same time, without taking anything away from anybody. When people smile because of my nose or your laugh, we do note lose anything: we win everything.

So I hope that you will enjoy those ever-so-modest presents of my time and my energy, that your life will be a bit nicer because of them, and that it will make you ever if only a little bit more likely to illuminate other people with your smile, to make them forget their worries for tomorrow with your laugh of today.

Making the world a better place is worth going a little bit faster than one present at a time, when one can!

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