On Friday I found myself standing in a queue at a newly opened Ladurée shop in Sydney. For the uninitiated, and I was definitely among them just minutes before joining the queue, Ladurée is a posh patisserie brand based in Paris, France. Frankly, I couldn’t care less for the reportedly divine macarons I was lining up for, but I knew that the person I was getting them for would appreciate me spending my entire lunch break on getting these exclusives for her. Everyone else was happy to wait up to 45 minutes and hand over their hard earned cash for these biscuits, so there must be something special about them, I thought. And then I wondered, “Does this make me a brand person?” I am not into following trends and buying things because of prestige they may bring. I do however tend to buy quality things because they are good value in the long run. I must admit it was kind of cool hanging out with all the smiling people who obviously knew a good biscuit when they saw one. Or could some of them have been just like me, curious passers-by turned macaron lovers?
So if I am not a brand person, why was I lining up for the French biscuits I had never heard of? The answer is in not in why but in for who. There is immense joy in the act of giving. We have all experienced the thrill of giving gifts. When we give we bring value to others. And this can be just as exclusive as the brands of our desires. This exclusivity has another layer to it. Doing something that will please someone else is inclusive. It brings us closer to them. Giving makes us feel appreciated and worthy of love. And we all want appreciation and love.
Brian Tracy says, “Always give without remembering, and always receive without forgetting.” Whether we remember or forget, when we give we feel good. And in many ways this is what life is about: feeling good. If bringing value to the lives of others makes me feel good, I say bring it on. Yes we benefit from it, but the main benefit is in the joy and fulfilment that the act of giving actualizes in us.
Even though it may be true that others cannot make us happy or unhappy, eventually we cannot exist without others. We depend on others just as they depend on us. This dependency is not disabling, it is very much enabling. We feel enabled to love and receive love. To care more for others than for ourselves is a brand that is always trendy. And by the way, the macarons are divine!