If you have been spending a lot of time online to learn more about how to give the perfect gift, you probably have realized by now that almost all discussions seem to revolve the act of gift giving around the ideas of economics and money. And, rightly so, because almost everything material in this world involves spending.
To spotlight your giving on the dollar sign is to miss out on one of the most wonderful and most amazing journeys of all time–the journey into the self and towards self-mastery, during which course you awaken others to the awareness of their own selves and give them a chance at self-mastery. Nothing beats the knowledge and awareness of who one is, what one is here for, and why life happens as it does. If you want to give others the perfect gift, try seeking wisdom and self-mastery foremost of all.
But, who’s saying you can’t continue giving away those special gifts while learning something new about yourself? As a matter of fact, I stumbled upon an ancient framework that you can use to assess your level of creative loving by examining your gift giving behavior. In a sense, this framework allows anyone to track her or his ascent to the highest level of loving and generosity (i.e., the Eighth Level of Giving). The framework’s foundation rests solidly on the idea that your value is measured not by what you do, whom you know, who knows you, or what you have; rather, your value is measured by what, why, and how you give.
A Gift from Maimonides
The 12th-century rabbi and philosopher, Maimonides (Moses ben-Maimon, often referred to by the acronym Rambam, which stands for Rabbi Moshe ben-Maimon), wrote of eight levels of giving in the Mishneh Torah. He is one of the few philosophers who has given the world the perfect gift of knowing how to give in a manner that is meaningful. Etsy Finds
Maimonides was obsessed with righteousness and justice (“sedaqah” in Hebrew). To him, giving or charity, is an obligation and a duty that you must perform wherever you are on the economic ladder. As you shall understand in a little while, the highest level of gift giving, according to Maimonides, is a million times much better than mere philanthropy–because philanthropy is simply non-obligatory, non-compulsory, and 100% voluntary giving.