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A Gift Is Both Free and Bound

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1/8/2016 3:41:38 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
There is a dilemma raging in my brain, a confusion of terms and ideas. Namely, is the act of giving essentially free or is it, necessarily, an obligation?

First of all, I feel a gift must be free, a thing one willingly does without a sense of compulsion. For, what is a gift if not given, freely, from the heart? Secondly, I believe a gift must cost the giver or it's not truly a gift. For, how could I say, "This gift is from me," if it cost me absolutely nothing. In talking about cost, I'm talking about a cost that is felt, a perceived cost, not the cost of something that will never be missed.

So, the question remains, does one's sense of obligation somehow devalue the gift? Or, can a duty be, also, a gift?

To answer this question, we must answer the hard question of free will versus determination. First, we establish a gift is an expense; it is a transference of ownership. In other words, we cannot give that which is not ours to give. In feeling compelled to give something that is in our possession, is it truly ours if we are bound by duty, or obligation, to give it away? A stark illustration of this would be slavery. Is a slave a possession of one's owner or does the slave truly own oneself? If the slave is the possession of the owner, then, slavery is a compulsion, an obligation, a duty, the slave is compelled to act against his, or her, will. If the slave possessed oneself, then, slavery would be done willingly and freely without compulsion. The slave is obligated, thusly does not own oneself.

Therefore, a gift must be a product of ownership, not obligation, or force. It must be freely given, an act of freewill and not compulsion. For, it's with ownership of ourselves can we freely give of ourselves.

Yet, with ownership comes responsibility and with responsibility comes obligation. As parents, a couple takes ownership of its children and taken ownership it also takes responsibility.

So, with ownership comes both freedom and obligation, both liberty and determination; and, the gift, a transference of ownership, a product of that which is free and bound, must of necessity be free and bound, itself.