Santa vs the Grinch

Dec 16, 2020

I've been known to make drunken boasts and tall claims without thought. An excellent example of this would be my recent public announcement that I intend to complete a book before 2020 finally bids us goodbye.

More on that later. Today's talk is on the twitter thread that has me in knots. I made a decision to gift a subscription to an online community run by the effervescent Anne-Laure.

The trick here as Bruno Winck rightly pointed out is that 3 people are happy with the gift rather than two. How does that work?

Simple. You desire the gift, but you decide to gift it to someone else instead and I do the actual gifting.

I probably didn't do a good job of explaining that since everyone was claiming the gift for themselves. And not for another as expected. So much for being a good writer, quite obviously my expression and communication skills leave a lot to be desired.

So what was I trying to express that missed the mark completely?

Selflessness - the Spirit of Gifting

I did mention that I want to gift to someone desirous and not deserving as the criterion for eligibility. But there's more here than meets the eye.

How often have you craved for something and ended up frustrated that weren't able to get it? That fuels the scarcity mindset that only leads towards more victim-hood and an aura of despair.

However, what if you were to kill your own desire (outside your capability) and satisfy someone else's desire (within your capability)? Now instead of being frustrated that you couldn't scratch your own itch, you're awash with the satisfaction of scratching someone else's itch (and watch them sigh with delight). Not the nicest of analogies I agree, but you get it.

Scarcity vs Abundance

So here's an example. What if I wanted a $1500 phone but couldn't afford it? Let's play this both ways.

A. Unable to afford it, I continue to obsess over ways to get it; maybe take a loan, borrow from a friend, sell things, steal even? Even if I don't take any action, I continue to ruminate; watching the latest unboxing videos and reviews on YouTube and discussing about it's merits with friends and fanbois. At every gathering, I turn a shade greener each time someone whips that phone out. As you can guess, not a very happy or healthy space to be in, holidays or not.

B. Knowing that I can't afford it, I choose to satisfy the desire of getting something by getting the satisfaction of gifting something (meta-satisfaction?). Here's how we play this. I gift 5 of my friends/family a $20 phone case each. $100 is something I don't have to break the bank for, or steal from for that matter. I don't have a $1500 phone but I have the satisfaction of watching videos of my friends flaunting their phones in newly adorned holiday garb. If you've tried this, you'll know this is a very happy satisfied space to be in.

There you have it. Scarcity vs abundance. So do you want to be Santa or the Grinch? You choose.

Christmas list for Santa
Photo by Mike Arney / Unsplash

p.s. If you want to play Santa, here's my Amazon wishlist. Just kidding, subscribe below instead :)

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