Giving to Get


Photo by asenat29

Abi Lingam, Staff Writer

Tis’ the season of giving to get where Black Friday is more important of a holiday than Christmas because the discount you get on good gifts is more important than showing love for your family.

However, it is difficult to pinpoint when exactly the meaning of what Christmas really is changed. I find myself straying away from the true meaning of the holidays more and more every year.

The idea of giving to get has become more and more common especially with the popularity of events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Giving to get means, buying gifts or writing notes to those you care about with the subconscious thought that whoever you give the gift to will give you something in return.

Marketing expert Daniel Decker refers to those who follow this belief “posers” because he says that they care more about themselves than they do about the transaction or the relationship they have with that person. For example, if a friend of your shows up to your house over winter break with a gift for you, most people’s immediate reaction is “Crap! What do I get them now?!” This reaction is what turns giving to give into giving to get because it’s now an obligation. They got me something so I need to get them something.

However, this idea is not only prevalent in gifts, it can also be seen within charity events, such as True Blue.

Many teachers have creative incentives for their students if they donate. Whether that be a certain amount of extra credit points for every can of food for the HOSA food drive, or if it is once they reach a goal of money to donate they get notes on their final. Even though the end goal is raising money for Stetson and the IRC, the journey to reach that point may not be as sincere as it could have been.

This is perfectly illustrated in the episode of Friends “The One Where Phoebe Hates PBS”. The character Joey claims that there is no selfless act. Phoebe tries to prove him wrong by donating to a cause that she doesn’t believe in at all but with her donation, she gets Joey on TV which makes her feel good. This was proof to Joey that there is no such thing as a selfless act because even when Phoebe does a good deed with no expectations for anything in return, she still had that rewarding feeling which is a form of giving to get. Joey Tribbiani was definitely correct in the way that our society handles “good deeds” or “selfless acts”, in many cases they don’t exist because some people follow the selfish ideology of giving in order to receive, not giving in order to give.