Seneca Admits: Giving Gifts Ain’t Easy

Seneca De Vita Beata 24

“Whoever thinks that giving presents is an easy matter is wrong. This is a subject of extreme difficulty, if the gifts are made carefully and not just cast about randomly and impulsively. To one person I do a favor; to another I return one; to one I help; another I show pity.

I give to someone else because they shouldn’t be overcome by poverty and obsessed by it; to some I will give nothing even though they need it because they would still be in need whatever I give; to others I offer aid and some people I force to take it. I cannot be negligent in this effort and I am never more certain to write down names than when I am making a gift.”

Errat, si quis existimat facilem rem esse donare; plurimum ista res habet difficultatis, si modo consilio tribuitur, non casu et impetu spargitur. Hunc promereor, illi reddo; huic succurro, huius misereor; illum instruo dignum quem non deducat paupertas nec occupatum teneat; quibusdam non dabo, quamvis desit, quia, etiam si dedero, erit defuturum; quibusdam offeram, quibusdam etiam inculcabo. Non possum in hac re esse neglegens; numquam magis nomina facio quam cum dono.

Hands holding a gift box isolated on black background

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