Monday, November 17, 2008

Hierarchy of Needs: Part Three

In part three of our series on gift-giving and the hierarchy of needs, we'll talk about giving gifts as a way of fulfilling the need to both give and receive love, affection and a sense of belonging. 

All occasions are appropriate times to let the people in your life know they are loved. Even a poor choice lets the recipient know that someone cared enough to try. Gifts of belonging communicate to a person that she has a supportive community of people around them. One of the biggest ways we communicate belonging is by our presence. Showing up at a wedding, bar mitzvah or graduation lets a loved one know that they belong to a community who will show up to witness important life events. 

There are more tangible, symbolic ways communicate belonging as well. In my family, my Mom is the guru of "belonging gifts." When my two sisters-in-law joined the family, she gave them recipe boxes with cards containing family recipes and included some blank cards so they could add to the collection. For the first Christmas my brother and his wife spent in their new home, far away from the rest of our family, my sister-in-law mentioned that she had ben looking for some glass ornaments for their tree, something that would reflect the colored lights. Mom remembered an old chandelier that used to hang over the dining room table when we were kids. She pulled it out of the attic and took apart the dangling prisms, sending a box of them to each of us as Christmas ornaments. 

Gifts like these remind us that we belong, that we are loved, and that the old bonds are still intact even when we move on in our lives.  


1 comment:

Pam said...

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