"Anything I can give you is trifling/Be it a flower, or a song." -Rabindranath Tagore
Kindness is luminous; it lights up paths between people.
Among Arabs, gifts are necessary and routine. Dentists, mothers-in-law, guests, nieces, maids, friends-of-friends--somebody must always be receiving presents. Dates stuffed with almonds, chocolate boxes, and perfume are customary offerings. Living in an Arab country, I too have adopted this habit.
I like to give somebody something, every day. Generosity, I think, stems from selfishness as well as selflessness (I do love paradoxes). We need to be giving in order to reduce the excess in our lives.
When I come across a marvellous confectionary treat or exquisite piece of jewellery, a light goes off in my head as I think "Ah! This would be perfect for so-and-so." If it could please someone else more than me, why not pass it on to him or her? It will only be cluttering my space anyway.
Besides, gifts are one of the few ways one can express love towards others. Society is polite, reserved, civilized. The real love we feel for each other is not evident in daily conversations. If it was, it could easily become 'weird.' Thus, genuine, pure love is pent-up and an exhausting burden on a heart.
Generosity is a way to release that frustration. A gift transcends superficial interactions in order to prove to another just how special and meaningful they have been.
Life would be a tragedy without even being able to say "Thank you."
After all, in the end, we are all alone, every single soul journeying endlessly through time, through space. The moment our light coincides with another is miraculous sublime, divine, blessed. Kindred spirits are so few and far between.
The gift is a simple reminder of that moment. And while life is weary, dark, and dreary, little gifts remain tender proof that--"it was not always so, my friend..."
Be generous. Leave a box of brownies on a sweet neighbour's porch. Make your mother cinammon tea. Buy Lush bath bombs for a friend.
Anything manifested from a loving heart is beautiful. A handpicked bouquet is as eloquent as a song.