Daughter and I were taking the bus to gymnastics yesterday afternoon when she lost her favorite leotard. It was in the little canvas tote bag she was carrying, which she had wedged between her back and the bus seat, and when we got off the bus she forgot about it. So did I. The bus was a good two minutes gone before we realized it.
There is no way to fix such a crisis. There is only the appearance of fixing it, like calling the bus company right away, which I did. That isn’t a fix, though; the leotard is gone.
This is a post about keeping gifts on hand.
Daughter could not bring herself to continue to gymnastics, so we came home and she cried. But all was not lost, because her mother returned in time and presented her with a brand new leotard, one that she had purchased as a gift but had not yet given. Tears turned, literally, to dancing.
Having gifts at the ready can save the day in a crisis. But it does much more than that. It positions you to contribute when the rest of us are only positioned to manage. You have something to give, something just for a moment like this, something perfect for this person. I have nothing.
The woman in this story with the costly jar of perfume had something for the occasion while others, who perhaps should have been better prepared, did not. Their critical response to the disproportionate value of her gift is a cover. They don’t have a gift. They’re ashamed.
Of course, being ready with a gift also means that you are the kind of person who is thinking of others and what might bring them joy, and not only when a gift-giving occasion calls for it.That’s the best part.