Life is a gift¶
A key question in life is whether you want to perceive it as a gift or not.
Perceiving life as a gift means that you feel like a child who gets from their parents everything they need for daily life. Young children usually take this gift as something natural, without gratefulness. When they get older, they gradually realize how lucky they are or have been. They become grateful and motivated to give something back in turn. Of course this mechanism is not fool-proof and can easily get disturbed. But it is an essential component of human life on earth.
The benefits and challenges of perceiving life as a gift can be studied scientifically for real children and their parents.
Scientific observations in the real world invite us to imagine that something similar might be valid at a higher metaphysical level as well: humanity as a “child” of a “father” in “heaven”. This idea is a basic teaching of Christian faith. Seeing Life on Earth as a gift is one of the essential messages of the Good News.
Your interactions with your fellow humans fundamentally depend on whether you believe that life on Earth is a gift for which you want to give something in return.
Fundamentally implies that the result is not always very visible. The key question is whether you want to perceive it or not. Your motivations, goals and intentions are more important than how well you actually achieve them. Success is important as well, but at a secondary level.
“The earthly city is promoted not merely by relationships of rights and duties, but to an even greater and more fundamental extent by relationships of gratuitousness , mercy and communion.” – Caritas in Veritate
“The great challenge (…) is to demonstrate (…) also that in commercial relationships the principle of gratuitousness and the logic of gift as an expression of fraternity can and must find their place within normal economic activity.” – Caritas in Veritate
La gratuité in a collection “Les cahiers des EDC” (Entrepreneurs et dirigeants Chrétiens) provides inspiration for implementing a culture of gratuitousness in a profit-oriented enterprise.
“Par tradition, la «culture de la gratuité» est associée à l’envers du marché, à un mode alternatif de penser les échanges, à des démarches d’émancipation sociale, au don. Mais elle subit aujourd’hui de puissants effets de brouillage. Le développement d’Internet entremêle inextricablement vraies et fausses gratuités.” – Jean Louis Sagot-Duvauroux in De la gratuité