SPIRITUALITY, FAIR TRADE AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
23
September
2013

What Money Can't Buy Reflection

I found this article to be very interesting. The first thing that really stood out to me was the fact that there are websites where you are able to purchase a wedding toast. I myself have never heard of theperfecttoast.com or instantweddingtoasts.com and have a hard time believing that someone has managed to put a price on a wedding toast. The fact that you can receive a custom wedding toast within three business days for $149 or a prewritten wedding toast instantly for $19.95 is simply baffling.
Though not exactly the same as writing a wedding toast, I have written speeches for the swimmers I coach each summer when they win an award at the end of the season. Not only does choosing a swimmer to win the most improved or the coach’s award take a lot of time, deciding what to say when the award is given is something I plan days in advance. This past summer, I presented the most improved swimmer award to a young girl named Kaileigh. Kaileigh joined the swim team this past summer at the age of 5 and refused to put her face in the water. Her twin sister Katherine, was the exact opposite and was quick to learn each of the four strokes. While Kaileigh took some time to really learn how to swim, each time she made an improvement, the smile on her face is something I will never forget. Not only did she improve this summer, she helped me realize why I love my coaching job so much and why graduating from school and moving onto a new position has seemed so difficult. When presenting Kaileigh with her award, I could not help but feel overwhelmed and tear up because it truly meant more than just giving a trophy. I would imagine that giving a wedding toast to a close friend or family member will remind me of this exact experience. It’s not something you can put a price on if it truly comes from the heart.
The second piece of information from this article that really stood out to me was the debate of giving cash over choosing a gift for someone. It was determined that giving cash is the economical thing to do because receivers usually perceive the gift at 20% lower cost than what was actually spent. At the same time, it is believed that you are really able to make an impact and show your appreciation or love for someone by picking something out that they would not have chosen for themselves.
This is something that I myself have come to seriously consider about gift giving. I love birthdays. My birthday is on Christmas Eve and not only do I feel blessed to have been born so close to such a special holiday, I enjoy the fact that everyone around me has taken two steps back, forgotten about how much they have spent on purchasing gifts, and is enjoying time spent with those who matter the most. I only wish everyone could feel that way on their birthday which is probably why I find myself spending hours picking out the perfect birthday card and really thinking about a gift that would make them smile. One of my favorite gifts to give is something to do with pictures; whether is a collage, a nice frame, and a scrapbook, I feel others appreciate that I have taken the time to give them something unique. I have never been a fan of giving gift cards and to be perfectly honest, I could probably re-decorate my entire dorm room with the number of gift cards that are currently in my wallet. I’ve come to appreciate those who take time to really pick out something I would enjoy; whether it’s a nice pair of earring, a charm for my bracelet, a new pair of shoes, a picture frame or an outfit that makes me feel my best, these are the gifts that I have come to love and appreciate the most.



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