Who’s It For

~By Patrick McNerthney

Since it’s the season of selfless giving, I want to brag to you about what I got for the people on my list. After all, what’s the point of giving a gift if I can’t talk about my extreme charm and thoughtfulness?

I gave my dog three really great new chew toys that won’t stop squeaking. I gave my son a recurve bow (as in bow and arrow) that I wish I’d gotten for myself. And I gave my wife something called “stacking” rings; three thin gold rings that you wear on one finger so they sort of stack together.

I didn’t get you anything. Sorry.

All of this is fantastic of course, and two of the three gifts make sense as far as our general understanding of how gift giving is supposed to work. Can you guess which ones? Of course you can’t so I’ll tell you – my dog wore out his other toys, so the new squeakers were for him; and my son is getting into outdoor activities, so the bow was for him.

However, those stacking rings were for me. Specifically, so that I wouldn’t’ get into trouble. You see, my wife already has lots of jewelry (and very specific taste), and I didn’t really know what else to get her, and we’d actually sort of agreed not to get each other gifts this year, which I know is a trap, so naturally, I bought the rings at the last minute to keep myself in good standing. 

(Who knew these came in different sizes?)

That’s right, I admit it, I bought that gift purely for self-preservation. It was for me.   

Kind of weird right?

We often forget or ignore the concept of “Who’s It For?” not only in our gift-giving but also in our lives. And we shouldn’t, because when we keep in mind “Who’s it  for?” we tend to make more effective and appropriate decisions. (I’m returning those stacking rings because I bought the wrong size, something I didn’t even consider at the time. (Not kidding.)

Here are some more examples of how funky “Who’s it for?” can be:

The food at a wedding could be for the guests (to “wow” them), the bride (she’s vegan) or the cousin (who just started a catering business).

That meeting at work could be for the new employee (creating comfort and familiarity), the laggard (forcing him to stop procrastinating) or the manager (who likes to show off title and status).

Tricky stuff when you think about it. But when your goal is to make things better it’s totally worth asking yourself “Who’s this for?” Don’t do it all the time, that would make things super confusing. But certainly think about it when it comes to some of the bigger challenges or decisions you face. It provides you with insurance and assurance, that you are actually taking efficient and proper action to benefit those you seek to serve.

At Fine Art Miracles we champion Art Therapy  and Music Therapy Sessions as well as ART2GO packages, as tools designed for you, the caregiver, to positively impact the lives of your residents. Creative expression is known to improve memory, foster a sense of self-worth, relieve stress and build connection (in a time when we need it more than ever). Additionally, we hope you find our blog a helpful resource to manage the increased stress and pressure you’re likely experiencing due to the constraints of social isolation.

Fine Art Miracles exists for you to lean on as a resource, a pool of ideas, a sounding board and a support network on your journey of service. We are here for you – please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or simply to let us know how we can help.

In the meantime, I need to figure out how I’m going to return these rings…