Be an Indian Giver this season. The text below is from an inspirational speech I recently gave at Toastmasters. It was intended to be only 2 minutes long, however I went over just by a bit. I think it’s important to share this with you, feel free to pass it on.

Be an Indian GiverI went to see a great speaker this week.  His name was Shy Kurtz. I won’t get into the premise of his speech, but some of the background he gave reminded me of a very important concept, which we often forget in today’s busy, consumer world.

He started talking about the term ‘Indian Giver’, where it came from, and why in fact when it was intended as a insult, it rather should have been a compliment.

The term came from a misunderstanding, through a difference of cultures.  In the Native American culture, a gift has a life of it’s own.  When you give a gift, you are creating something that will live on forever.  Why? Because it is expected that when one receives a gift, that it is not kept – the gift must be passed on. Not necessarily the same physical object, it’s more metaphysical than that – the gift itself must be passed on, and that is how it stays alive!  Imagine, every time you start a gift chain, it could be passed all around the world, through thousands of people, only to come back to you!

The term Indian Giver appears to have come about when the Native Americans realized that their new neighbors did not subscribe to that way of thinking.  It seems that some took offense to that, and took their gifts back, not wanting them to die.

And that is where the term Indian giver came from.  A clash of cultures.

This holiday season, let’s all keep the gifts alive, and bring a little more light into the world!

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