The fanfare preceding every traditional so-called holiday reeks of commercialism. Every merchant and fly-by-night hustler knows the gullible publics’ fanatic search for love and happiness and therefore capitalizes on it.
Advertisers promise love and happiness can be achieved through the purchase of their such and such. This leads to purchases of sparkling trinkets, bottles of aroma, boxes of chocolate-covered calories, bouquets of fatally wounded flowers, and other illusions-on-a-stick.
The customers often consciously feel that he or she is buying a gift for the subject of their affection but subconsciously many are purchasing a “Love and Happiness Insurance Policy.” After purchase, with the guarantee from the merchant that this gift will bring love and happiness, the policy/gift is given to the subject of their affection. When the gift is accepted there’s an implied agreement that a measure of love and happiness perhaps sprinkled with a dab of appreciation and respect is assured on demand. If this non-verbal contract is not fulfilled the giver feels mistreated and hurt emotions begin the brew.
Most people misunderstand the meaning of love. Love is always bestowed as a gift – freely, willingly and without expectation. We shouldn’t love to be loved. We should love to love for the sake of love. Insurance policies, on the other hand, are issued with expectations.
When we pay our auto insurance premiums, we expect service whenever we file a claim. When the giver gives a nice article of clothing, for example, a jacket, to the recipient the giver usually expects a show of appreciation in the form and/or fashion he or she would appreciate. The way you immediately recognize a gift from and insurance policy is when the giver doesn’t get his or her way. The giver wants his or her ‘jacket,’ ‘jewelry,’ or other items back. In many cases, items purchased and given are destroyed.
Men commonly give and spend money on women with the expectation of carnal favors. Women give and spend money on men with the expectation of a commitment or at least a monogamous relationship. These are not gifts – given freely - but emotional insurance policies. Even married couples often give emotional insurance policies other than true gifts. I’ve witnessed on the television show “Divorce Court” on more than a few occasions that one or the other wants their gifts returned. On the television show “Judge Judy” disgruntled lovers are constantly suing in small claims court to have monies and other valuables returned. I saw a case where the man wanted his gift of breast implants returned. If the judge determines it is a gift the plaintiff loses. Occasionally, the judge will admonish the giver about trying to buy love and happiness.
I believe the best gift you can give anyone is your time. To spend quality time with someone is more than the love and commitment you can try to purchase on aisle 13 or the happiness you hope to find on aisle 8. The Bible says that the greatest gift is love and love is not something that is purchased with money but with loyalty, quality friendship, and commitment.
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