礼物

August 23, 2010 |  by  |  blogging, dumbideas

晚上吃饭的时候,房子里的姐姐聊到前几天这边Local同事结婚的一些趣事。

期间提到了送礼物。

我和小小很感兴趣的问道都会有什么样的礼物,贵重吗还是有什么特别的讲究,小小比较直接,“有送钱的吗?”

姐姐语气平和,“有给现金的,一个上司就给了现金,$50澳币。但给Gift Card的会多些,大多金额也在$50~$100澳币之间。除此还会一些包装精美的小礼品。”

我们基本表示淡定。因为对于老外这种文化下的如此行为已经颇为习惯了,但还是忍不住说一句,“唉。这要是在国内,谁还能拿出手啊?!”

Seth Godin 曾经讲过他和一位全球500强公司的前 CEO见面聊天的经历。

CEO说他一共有三个秘书,一位秘书负责他的日程安排,一位秘书负责他的日常工作,还有一位秘书什么事情都不做,专门给人送礼物。

这里的“礼物”恐怕和开始我们谈的婚礼上送的礼物就不是一样了。

当这个礼物由那位秘书挑选,以公司名义送出,这不应该是礼物了,准确的说,应该是Favor。(“馈赠”?我好像没能找到一个准确的词来形容)

A favor is something we do for someone hoping for an equal or greater favor in return. (Hence the phrase, “return the favor.” No one says, “return the gift.”)

有点像是我们中国人说的,“礼尚往来”(想起了新概念2?3?里面有一篇这个文章吧)。

维基百科里给的Gift解释也很明了:

A gift or a present is the transfer of something without the expectation of receiving something in return.

现在好像有点明白了。

国内结婚收喜礼,红包给你¥1000块,因为送礼的人知道,下次你过来他家喝喜酒这钱还会再回到腰包里。

可无形中的好处是,两人的脸上都可以多些光。你不一定看到其中的隐性投资,但如果你去领导家喝喜酒就掏¥100块试试,你就看到隐性损失了。

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下面这段是Seth提到的他对gift的看法,喜欢的朋友可以读一读:

A gift costs the giver something real. It might be cash (enough that we feel the pinch) but more likely it involves a sacrifice or a risk or an emotional exposure. A true gift is a heartfelt connection, something that changes both the giver and the recipient.

The Gift of the Magi is a great story because each person in the story sacrifices to create a heartfelt gift for the other person. And it’s gifts–gifts that touch us, gifts that change us–that are transforming the way we interact.

One or two readers asked me why my book Linchpin costs money. After all, they ask, if gifts are a cornerstone of the new era, why not give it away free, as a gift?

Free doesn’t make something a gift. Free might be a marketing strategy, free might make a generous present, but free doesn’t automatically make something a gift. Gil Scott Heron’s new album isn’t free, but it’s a gift. He’s exposing himself. Taking a risk. You listen to the album and you feel differently when you’re done… it’s not a product, it’s a very personal statement. Keller Williams approaches his entire craft as a chance to give gifts, but that doesn’t mean he can’t charge for some elements of his work. What it took him to create the music is so much greater than what it cost you to consume it that he is giving gifts without doubt.

The way I understand gifts is that the giver must make a sacrifice, create an uneven exchange, bring himself closer to the recipient, create change and do it all with the right spirit. To do anything less might be smart commerce, but it doesn’t rise to the magical level of the gift. A day’s work for a day’s pay is the win/lose mantra of the industrial era. More modern is to view a day’s work as a chance to generate gifts that last.

 



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