A GIFT IN ITS SEASON
THE SEVEN VULNERABILITIES OF GIVING
DECEMBER 13th, 2020
10 - 11:15am Pacific time
If you cannot afford the registration price due to present hardship, please contact [email protected] with a line of explanation for our discounted rate.
A recording of the event will be accessible for three months, until March 15th, 2021.
Giving is an essence of existence and a test of our character; it asks deep questions about our relationship to others, to ourselves and to time itself.
Seven vulnerabilities might seem like one too many vulnerabilities … but luckily, many of the dynamics that sometimes make gift giving difficult are also intimately connected to its accompanying joys. This holiday season is going to be something of an obstacle course for all of us, both logistically, psychologically and spiritually. All the more reason then, to return to the foundations of why we give and why we celebrate through giving itself.
This 75 minute session will look - appropriately enough for the holiday season - at the art and practice of gift giving, and the art of getting the gift right, both for ourselves and for the recipient. I will look at giving as a kind of art form and something that must be practiced, where we must risk giving too much or too little or, as we have all experienced, the wrong thing altogether. This understanding applies not only to tangible gifts to others, but also the way we give our creative gifts to the world.
"Giving means paying attention and creating imaginative contact with the one to whom we are giving. It is a form of attention itself; a way of acknowledging and giving thanks for lives other than our own."
The theme for this talk was originally sparked by a talk I gave to a conference of philanthropists, and I will also look at the timeless, year-round vulnerabilities of giving, independent of the holiday season.
In philanthropy we tend to think that all of the vulnerability is being experienced by those in need of the money or resources, but anyone one who has ever given to another to help them in any substantial way has encountered many of the precarious positions of these seven vulnerabilities. Gift giving is an invitation to self-awareness as much as a form of generosity.