|3 rice cookers = suffering x 3.|
What kind of stuff do you buy for the person that has everything? Nothing. You buy them nothing. What kinds of stuff do you buy for the hard to buy for person? Same. Nothing. How about the easy to buy for individual? You guessed it. Nothing again.
Tis the season for frenzied shopping and gift giving. But there is a problem with both giving (and receiving) gifts. This should be pondered before beginning the yearly shop-a-thon that we do mostly because we are told to by people that want our money.
Here is the crux of the matter. If you give a gift the recipient doesn't want, they suffer. They would be better off with no gift. No winners here, not even the person that will end up with the thing after it is re-gifted.
Even if you "nail it" and get the perfect gift someone actually wants, they still will suffer. The new thing will demand their attention, require space to store, and possibly require maintenance from time to time. The gift may have other unintended consequences.
Eventually the item might break, or be lost or stolen. In the end, the gift-ee will be separated from the thing they desire. Pain results again. The person would be better off with no gift. No winners here either.
But there is an answer. There is something that can be given with a clear conscience.
What says "I love you" more than giving the gift of yourself? Your time. Instead of spending precious moments shopping for things that will cause pain and suffering, why not use that time to acknowledge the ones you love?
Write a note, letter, email, private message, tweet, or text to tell them you care. Or if geographical considerations allow, spend time together, in the same place at the same time, enjoying each other's company. It's free, it's cherished by most, and if done with compassion, will not cause pain.
Everyone wins when the thing we joyfully give is our loving, attentive selves. No shopping. Free.