What Mother Teresa Can Teach You about Thoughtful Gift Giving

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Mother TeresaMother Teresa, humanitarian and a Nobel peace price winner, has always influenced the society with her thoughts. Almost every sentence she said is now a famous quote. There are lots of things you can learn from these quotes, not just about being a humanitarian, but also about gifting.

In the following paragraphs, you will read some of her well-known quotes and the important gifting lessons hidden in them.

“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”

For most of you, the idea of a good gift is an expensive gift. You are embarrassed to buy those less expensive gifts for one of your friends or relatives. So you always spend more on gifts. But how true is your belief? Does putting a lot of money on the gift make it invincible? It doesn’t actually. That is what this great quote by Mother Teresa teaches us.

No matter how much money you put on these gifts, it’s never going to count unless you put some love into it.  Then, even your less expensive gifts become something priceless.

The love we are talking about here is not just the love you put into buying those thoughtful or personalized gifts. It also takes in account of the innovative and colorful ways you use to wrap a gift. And when you handover such a well-put gift to recipient, this love would flood out towards the giftee, making it one of the memorable gift she ever received.

In summary, it’s like this: if your gift is only about the money and no love, it’s a fail.  On the contrary, if your gift involves no money and only love, it will always be a great gift.

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”

Of course, Mother Teresa was talking about reforming the society by playing our part, even if it is a small one. But let’s look at this famous quote from a gifting point of view.  It is still relevant.

Not every one of us is capable of buying those extraordinarily expensive gifts as the Ambanis do.  Those people are capable of spending fortunes on million dollar jet planes and cruise boats. But, not us.  However, we can always give small gifts with great love.

For instance, take an example of a little girl child.  To make her happy you don’t need to buy the costliest of the things, a candy bar or a small teddy bear can bring her to a happy mood. And the happiness will grow beyond limits, if you spent some time telling stories or playing with her.

Sometimes, you don’t even need to buy a thing to turn a person happier.  Want proof?  Try a surprise visit to seniors and see the happiness in their eyes.  Aren’t these small things with great love?

“Love begins by taking care of the closest ones – the ones at home.”

While people who don’t buy gifts at all are a minority, people who buy gifts for everyone but their closest family members are a majority. They have their own reasons, but they are missing one of the best parts of life – missing out the opportunity to have far greater happiness than the joy of giving gifts.

The opportunity we are talking about is the pleasure of seeing your loved ones happy.  Is there any better joy than this?

A gift is a way you express your love and care to someone. It is how you show the affection and respect towards them. But, what is the point of doing the same if you ignore the ones at your home?

And that’s what this quote tells us. The quote says you should start expressing your love to the closest ones at home before expressing the same to others.  This idea also applies to gifts.

In many homes, this is what I see — there will be only one earning member and the other members of the family will be often shying away from expressing their needs.  It is this, what you need to understand. You have to figure out your loved ones’ need and fulfill their wishes before taking care of other giftees.

“‎Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.”

Do you plan before buying gifts?  If you have been reading our posts, I’m sure you are!

You start your plan by writing down all the names of your friends and family. You dig deep about their interests and tastes.  Then you write down the amount you can afford to spend on each one of them and later you decide on the gift you buy for that amount.

This plan you formulated above is the discipline mentioned in this quote. And it is the bridge which helps you to accomplish your goals of finding a perfect gift to each of your recipients. If you don’t have this bridge of discipline, you can’t reach your destination of finding a perfect gift. So make sure, you create a plan before buying gifts.

“If you give what you do not need, it is not giving.”

We can relate this famous quote of Mother Teresa to one of the most bizarre gifting custom in practice today. We call it re-gifting. For those who don’t know about re-gifting, here is what it means.

Imagine you got a birthday gift. But when you open the gift box, you are not too ecstatic to find what’s inside. In other words, you don’t like the gift. Let’s say it’s a book about Chinese culture, written in Chinese. So you want to somehow get rid of this ‘interesting’ book, which you can hardly read. And you decide to gift this ‘interesting’ book to someone else. This is what we call re-gifting, a practice that can never be justified.

What this quote teaches us is that, you should not gift something because you don’t need it. Gift it because the giftee needs it. So learn about your giftee and understand what he or she needs before buying a gift for them.

Now, it is your turn.

What is your favorite quote of Mother Teresa? Can you come up with any other gifting lessons from her famous quotes? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.

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Shyam is the founder of OrangeCarton.com. Visit our store for a wide selection of wall art, paintings, stickers and other home decor products.

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