Some gifts have strings.
If we give with strings, is it really giving? It leans toward control. It’s almost as if we hand a gift to someone, but as he or she unwraps it, we hold onto the edge of the string. We’re offended if they don’t receive or use it in the way we expect. And in some cases, we expect to be able to dictate the use for years.
I am a fan of the show Gilmore Girls. In the first episode, Lorelai goes to her estranged parents to ask them to pay for her daughter Rory’s education. The gift comes with a catch: have a family dinner every Friday night. They have some ups and downs, but in the end, they grow closer. However, a lot of dysfunction happens along the way. And it’s just a television show.
When we give with strings, we create dysfunction. In many cases, we intensify dysfunction already embedded in a relationship. Authentic, generous giving does the opposite. It enhances relationships. It shows care and respect.
Keep your giving and receiving in check. Give with pure intent, and receive with wisdom.