Courtesy Costs Nothing, Really?

Courtesy Costs Nothing

When celebrating something, some people like to send gifts to others. This is done to show some courtesy towards others. However, while some may accept it happily, some others may not. Why?


欢度佳节时,有些人很喜欢送大礼给别人,像是豪华的外套、昂贵的名表、豪侈的珍馐。对他们来说,礼物与尊重密切相关;若不送珍贵的礼物,就意味着不尊敬那个人了。俗话也说:「礼多人不怪」,与其少送礼物,不如送多一点,免得丢脸。


可是,并不是每个人都这么认为。对某些人来说,收到豪华礼物是个烦恼,因为他们必需要想怎么回礼。再加上,收礼的人也不一定是跟送礼的人一样富裕,或者是跟送礼的人很熟识。这样的话,收到礼物对于这些人就是一件困扰的事情。


另外,送礼物者也可能是别有企图的。有一些人与我们不亲近,却送给我们很贵重的礼物。这容易使人怀疑他居心不良;收下他们的礼物,就代表我们应该符合他们的期望。送礼的主要目的是让人感到快乐,可是这种礼物反而令人感到忐忑不安了。


因此,我觉得「礼多人不怪」不是个好的看法。



歡度佳節時,有些人很喜歡送大禮給別人,像是豪華的外套、昂貴的名錶、豪侈的珍饈。對他們來說,禮物與尊重密切相關;若不送珍貴的禮物,就意味著不尊敬那個人了。俗話也說:「禮多人不怪」,與其少送禮物,不如送多一點,免得丟臉。


可是,並不是每個人都這麼認為。對某些人來說,收到豪華禮物是個煩惱,因爲他們必需要想怎麼回禮。再加上,收禮的人也不一定是跟送禮的人一樣富裕,或者是跟送禮的人很熟識。這樣的話,收到禮物對於這些人就是一件困擾的事情。


另外,送禮物者也可能是別有企圖的。有一些人與我們不親近,卻送給我們很貴重的禮物。這容易使人懷疑他居心不良;收下他們的禮物,就代表我們應該符合他們的期望。送禮的主要目的是讓人感到快樂,可是這種禮物反而令人感到忐忑不安了。


因此,我覺得「禮多人不怪」不是個好的看法。


English translation:

When celebrating the festive season, some people like to give gifts to others, such as luxurious coats, expensive watches, and extravagant delicacies. For them, gifts are closely related to respect; if you don’t give a precious gift, it means not respecting that person. As the saying goes, "Courtesy costs nothing." Instead of giving gifts, it is better to send more, so as not to lose face.

However, not everyone thinks so. For some people, receiving a luxury gift is an annoyance because they have to think about how to return. In addition, the person receiving the gift is not necessarily as wealthy as the gift-giving person or is familiar with the gift-giving person. In this case, receiving gifts is a problem for these people.

Furthermore, the gift giver may also have ulterior motives. Some people are not close to us, but they give us a very valuable gift. It is easy to make people suspect that he harbors evil intentions; accepting their gifts means that we should accord with their expectations. The main purpose of giving gifts is to make people feel happy, but this kind of gift is making people feel uneasy, instead.

Therefore, I feel that "courtesy costs nothing" is not a good idea.


Special notes:

  • 佳節 - jiā jié - a festive day
  • 豪華 - háo huá - luxury
  • 豪侈 - háo chǐ- extravagant
  • 珍饈 - zhēn xiū - delicacies
  • 密切相關 - mì qiè xiāng guān - closely related
  • 收禮 - shōu lǐ - receiver (of gift)
  • 送禮 - sòng lǐ- sender (of gift)
  • 別有企圖 - bié  yǒu qì tú - [idiom] have ulterior motives
  • 居心不良 - jū xīn bù liáng - [idiom] harbor evil intentions
  • 忐忑不安 - tǎn tè bù ān - [idiom] uneasy, restless

Photo by Chang Duong 

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