At times, Hannah and I wonder how to share our good fortune…
…without that genuine act of generosity screwing up our relationships. If you are on the giving end, you know that there can be great satisfaction and a self-confidence that can grow when treating others. But it’s not all that simple.
How does the one being taken care of feel? Their confidence? Their feeling that they are pulling their own weight? Can treating another easily throw relationships out of balance with one party holding all the cards and the other wondering how can I ever repay these genuine acts of kindness? I don’t have the money to do so.
Hannah knows sometimes it isn’t easy for another to accept her offer to treat them to coffee and a muffin when they go out together. It can be complicated for many reasons. She smooths it out by saying to her friend, It’s Dan’s treat. Pretty cool, n’est-ce pas?
We try to be thought-full when we are treating others. Just because we may have more money, we don’t want to set up an unhealthy superior/inferior dynamic. You know the kind, where having more means, means we are the ones feeling good by treating and taking care of others.
And worse, the one being paid for could get used to being paid for. And then come to expect it, possibly eroding their self-esteem. It can be a complicated picture when true generosity is at the heart of the giving.
In late August, I wanted to treat our daughter Molly to nine holes of golf at dawn at the Amesbury Country Club and breakfast after at the Morning Buzz. In June, she treated me for Father’s Day to golf and breakfast and later that summer, I paid the bill for those two for her birthday.
So, how to go about paying this third time? At this time in our lives, Hannah and I have much more disposable income than she and Tip. Still, I don’t want paying for golf and breakfast this morning to complicate and distort our relationship.
And I came up with a brilliant finesse.
Tomorrow I’ll post that finesse.