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It is not the office of a man to receive gifts ... We wish to be self-sustained. We do not quite forgive a giver. The hand... Options
Daemon
Posted: Saturday, February 10, 2018 12:00:00 AM
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It is not the office of a man to receive gifts ... We wish to be self-sustained. We do not quite forgive a giver. The hand that feeds us is in some danger of being bitten.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)
KSPavan
Posted: Saturday, February 10, 2018 4:53:14 AM

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Quotation of the Day

It is not the office of a man to receive gifts ... We wish to be self-sustained. We do not quite forgive a giver. The hand that feeds us is in some danger of being bitten.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)
monamagda
Posted: Saturday, February 10, 2018 6:20:15 AM

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Context from: Essays, Second Series

5. GIFTS.

For common gifts, necessity makes pertinences and beauty every day, and one is glad when an imperative leaves him no option; since if the man at the door have no shoes, you have not to consider whether you could procure him a paint-box. And as it is always pleasing to see a man eat bread, or drink water, in the house or out of doors, so it is always a great satisfaction to supply these first wants. Necessity does everything well. In our condition of universal dependence it seems heroic to let the petitioner be the judge of his necessity, and to give all that is asked, though at great inconvenience. If it be a fantastic desire, it is better to leave to others the office of punishing him. I can think of many parts I should prefer playing to that of the Furies. Next to things of necessity, the rule for a gift, which one of my friends prescribed, is that we might convey to some person that which properly belonged to his character, and was easily associated with him in thought. But our tokens of compliment and love are for the most part barbarous. Rings and other jewels are not gifts, but apologies for gifts. The only gift is a portion of thyself. Thou must bleed for me. Therefore the poet brings his poem; the shepherd, his lamb; the farmer, corn; the miner, a gem; the sailor, coral and shells; the painter, his picture; the girl, a handkerchief of her own sewing. This is right and pleasing, for it restores society in so far to its primary basis, when a man's biography is conveyed in his gift, and every man's wealth is an index of his merit. But it is a cold lifeless business when you go to the shops to buy me something which does not represent your life and talent, but a goldsmith's. This is fit for kings, and rich men who represent kings, and a false state of property, to make presents of gold and silver stuffs, as a kind of symbolical sin-offering, or payment of black-mail.

The law of benefits is a difficult channel, which requires careful sailing, or rude boats. It is not the office of a man to receive gifts. How dare you give them? We wish to be self-sustained. We do not quite forgive a giver. The hand that feeds us is in some danger of being bitten. We can receive anything from love, for that is a way of receiving it from ourselves; but not from any one who assumes to bestow. We sometimes hate the meat which we eat, because there seems something of degrading dependence in living by it:

"Brother, if Jove to thee a present make,
Take heed that from his hands thou nothing take."

We ask the whole. Nothing less will content us. We arraign society if it do not give us, besides earth and fire and water, opportunity, love, reverence, and objects of veneration.

http://www.literaturepage.com/read/emersonessays2-76.html
Junhao Zhang
Posted: Saturday, February 10, 2018 9:18:58 AM

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Cool=Applause
Emel Rapchan
Posted: Saturday, February 10, 2018 9:44:53 AM

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Ralph Waldo Emerson:
It is not the office of a man to receive gifts ...
We wish to be self-sustained.
We do not quite forgive a giver.
The hand that feeds us is in some danger of being bitten.

- We are creatures formed by a brutal and violent process of selection. Our first thought in life is a hungry crying. During a lifetime people are molded and fostered by their parents who taught them through the lines of education and civility to become more sociable amongst their peers. However, the savagery and wild violence just sit and wait a moment for unveiling itself, normally when we are threatened. This kind of feeling has no compliments nor any regrets and aims solely the survival of the individual.
Bully_rus
Posted: Saturday, February 10, 2018 9:46:02 AM
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Daemon wrote:
It is not the office of a man to receive gifts ... We wish to be self-sustained. We do not quite forgive a giver. The hand that feeds us is in some danger of being bitten.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)


You can't live without gifts because life itself is a gift...
capitán
Posted: Saturday, February 10, 2018 10:01:18 AM

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Location: San Salvador, San Salvador, El Salvador
The badassest quote from Emerson ever...
capitán
Posted: Saturday, February 10, 2018 10:01:22 AM

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Joined: 2/18/2013
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Location: San Salvador, San Salvador, El Salvador
The badassest quote from Emerson ever...
dave argo
Posted: Saturday, February 10, 2018 11:33:59 PM

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Emerson's gift of cryptography, "is not the office of any man to receive."
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