Rabash, Letter 40: Each gift….that he gives to his friend is like a bullet that makes a hollow in the stone. And although the first bullet only scratches the stone, when the second bullet hits the same place, it already makes a notch, and the third one makes a dent.
And through the bullets that he shoots repeatedly, the dent becomes a hollow in his friend’s heart of stone, where all the presents gather. And each gift becomes a spark of love until all the sparks of love accumulate in the hollow of the stony heart and become a flame.
The difference between a spark and a flame is that where there is love, there is open disclosure, meaning a disclosure to all the peoples that the fire of love is burning in him. And the fire of love burns all the transgressions one meets along the way.
Question: They say that love is acquired through good deeds. When a person gives a gift to his friend, every gift is like an arrow that strikes the heart of the other and makes a hole in it. Ultimately, arrow after arrow, the wall in the heart of the other is breached and emotional unity is created between them. What is meant by “gifts” in relationships between partners? Is this a ring that is bought at a store or something else?
Answer: First of all, before buying the ring it’s necessary to check if this will really make the woman happy. Or maybe she needs new shoes or maybe instead of a ring or new shoes she would prefer to go out with you on vacation for a few days?
The meaning of a “gift” is that first you check to see if she needs it. I would close all the gift stores because they are full of absolutely superfluous things that nobody needs. On the contrary, it’s necessary to check what the woman wants and to bring her something which is exactly according to her desire and then this is called a gift.
The gift doesn’t have to be material; the main thing is to fulfill the desire of the partner. Even a nice relationship is acceptable as a gift if it comes from love that doesn’t require compensation. Through a relationship like this I don’t demand anything from the partner in exchange since I enjoy the activity and I don’t expect compensation in exchange. On the contrary, I am thankful to him for the opportunity to give him a gift, which is pleasure for me.
I see how much my wife enjoys buying a gift for a grandchild for his birthday. She should thank him for having a birthday for it was a pleasure for her to look for a gift for him and to think of what exactly to buy that he would like. This is an example of a gift coming from love.
It’s the same thing regarding relationships between partners. I need to be integrated into the desires of my partner and to imagine what would make her most happy. And after this I go and carry this out with the goal of fulfilling her desire. And in no way or manner do I need to expect any compensation in exchange for the gift, for here an inner estimation is made without any personal benefit.
For if I require a payoff in exchange for my gift, this is no longer a gift; rather it’s just a business transaction. A gift is made completely from non-egoistic motives rather, only from love. My partner doesn’t owe me anything in return on the contrary, this was a pleasure for me.
When we talked about mutual concessions, then there it was the opposite; I made a concession and required an action in response to this from the partner. But a gift is above all this.
With the help of the right use of gifts, we receive the opportunities to build good relations between us, to begin a “new life.” For by means of the gift, we convey our love towards the partner and through this we acquire him.
In real life sometimes the opposite happens, the gifts that we bring to the partner or to children destroy the relationships between us. But this is only because these gifts were not from absolute love but from an intention to bribe the woman as compensation for my behavior. In a circumstance like this it’s not a gift but compensation. When I promise my son a gift if he will finish the school year successfully, this is not called a gift either but simply a payoff.
I need to show my wife that I am bringing her a gift without any egoistic intent but only from love. It is said, “Someone who gives a gift to his friend must let him know.” That this gift is for no reason! For everything else there are reasons, and in this case there isn’t, therefore I must let him know. A gift like this without a reason awakens mutual love from the other side. This is not compensation, not a payoff, but needs some kind of response, reciprocity.
First of all it’s up to me to find out what my wife wants. And after I have checked this, I bring her a gift and tell her how long it took me to think about what would be best to buy and that I even saved the money for this purpose, how long I looked for exactly what she needs. That is, I double this gift because I thought about it a lot; I searched and wanted to fulfill her desires.
By satisfying her desire, I gave her fulfillment, because I love her absolutely without any calculation. I enjoyed bringing her a gift so much and am sorry that my effort has ended; I was so happy to search for a gift for her that would make her happy. This is what is called a gift.
As it is said, every gift is like an arrow that strikes the heart of the other and makes a hole in it. This is talking about strangers, about egoists who are found in a conflict. But if we are talking about partners, there it’s easier to melt the heart of the partner. Therefore it’s easier to begin to build relationships like these within the family and only after this in other places. In relationships between partners, they are not separated by strong impenetrable walls as there are between strangers. Therefore come, let’s start from the family!
From a Talk on Integral Upbringing 8/1/12