Thursday, March 5, 2009

Intangible Joys - At What Price?

Friendliness is a good example of an intangible joy. When we are young, we love our friends. Sometimes, we even fight for and support our friends to the chagrin of our kith and kin. We learn from our peers and not seers. But as times change and needs change we look upon friends as a burden. We start asking, will a friend gift me five thousand rupees? Will my friend get me that coveted job at his expense or seniority?

But, when we are young, we enjoy a myriad of intangible joys:

-A dance in the rain
-Playing chess or snake and ladder games
-Sharing a thoughtful quote with a friend
-Sending a funny forward mail
-Organizing a Potluck
-Meeting old friends and relatives at a wedding
-Or just sharing sweet nothings with a fellow human being

As we grow, we need to buy a house, pay monthly installments for life insurance, and manage an insecure job. So intangible joys become a joy of the past. And people who ask for intangible joys are branded as childish.

Stephen Covey, in one of his books, explores a nice facet of intangible joys. He reasons that different people have different needs or versions of intangible joys. So your son may need a warm back rub when you are busy telling him a story with a moral. A friend may be expecting a phone call when you are chatting with her on Skype. An employee may be looking for heartfelt appreciation when you give him a scroll of honor for excellent performance.

So, to avoid a mismatch between give and receive, we need to be prudent and know what type of intangible joy your friend, colleague, or relative needs or prefers. Otherwise, your effort is not recognized by the receiving party as an intangible joy. How do you find out without asking your friend, what his/her intangible joy is? Watch out for that wide smile or giggle, sparkling eyes, tapping feet, subtle messages, or a blush!!!

Now that you know the intangible need of your friend, tune yourself to his/her joy. Let go of your ego and your style of give and take! Enjoy ageless intangible joys now!!!

1 comment:

yogs said...

My comments on a simiar subject are in one my posts at

Do check it out