Since inviting people over for my famous vegetable stews more and asking them not to bring packaged food, I’ve noticed trends in gift giving.
People almost never give gifts unwrapped. They nearly alway put them in boxes with wrapping both inside and out, all of which ends up in the landfills.
In other words, they give you garbage.
People who bring food almost never bring healthy food. It nearly always features sugar, fat, alcohol, or some combination.
In other words they make you fat and sick.
Normally people feel guilty eating fattening foods, though I suspect westerners, especially Americans, have learned to suppress those feelings. Giving them as gifts helps overcome such feelings for both giver and receiver. Never having experienced another person’s thoughts and emotions, I can’t say for sure, but I think the mindset behind giving unhealthy but pleasurable food involves the giver expecting the receiver to share some back, at which point the giver can think about the chocolate or whatever the gift, “she’s having more than I am so it’s okay for me to eat it.” The receiver can think, “I’m giving some away, so I can have more.”
As I mature and develop discipline through my sidchas, I’ve learned to prefer to feel the unwanted emotions when I cause them, then learn to behave in ways that don’t provoke them.
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