Are Gifts Blessing Or Bribe?

By Vic Odarve

Like light which behaves both as particle and wave, gifts are also dual in nature. Gifts could mean a blessing or a bribe to a giver or receiver. Both scenarios are possible. It depends on how we perceive them! It depends on its environs where it acts.

Adventure at Niger Delta, Nigeria, Africa

Adventure at Niger Delta, Nigeria, Africa

A mom told her son,”Son, you must have to visit your teacher/lecturer on his birthday. Bring this gift and greet him happy birthday”. The package consisted of imported wine and perfume. “What’s wrong? We did not ask and it is heartily given?” the lecturer reasoned out.

Some politicians, too, with monies screw from public funds, play like a god or paternalistic landlord. They distribute cash in millions as gifts to their voters. Those closer to their hearts receive larger windfalls! In return, people regard them as if they are lords as if they are gods in their districts as if they are God’s gifts to humanity. “What’s wrong? We did not ask and it is heartily given?” the people reasoned out.

A year ago, a wife of one lecturer got angry when he refused to give gifts to his boss and predicted: “You’ll never be promoted on your job as a lecturer and receive no salary increase if you don’t know how to give gifts!” Sure enough, the lecturer never got any promotion during his decade-long of teaching at the university. He was not among the chosen ones to be promoted and received a salary increase. In the group, he possessed the highest teaching qualifications. Gifts establish a connection to your bosses for a favored action.

Chocolate hills visit

Chocolate hills visit

A gift is a gift and nothing more. But a politician who gives a gift to the voters or a student who gives a gift to his lecturers/teachers is another thing. A gift is no longer a gift! It is a bribe for a vote in the coming election for a politician and also a bribe to facilitate a passing grade for a student by the lecturer/teacher. For a boss would mean a promotion and salary increase to his/her subordinates.

GIFT BECOMES A BRIBE

A gift is defined as something that is bestowed, usually to give pleasure or show gratitude while bribery is the illegal influencing of any person in the exercise of a public duty through the payment of money or anything of value.

Bohol, Philippines adventure

Bohol, Philippines adventure

To distinguish whether a gift is a bribe or not is a very difficult. In math, these two variables are functions of the motives of the giver and receiver and value of the gifts. A gift is given without any expectation of gain while in bribery a favor is expected. More often ‘a gift can be disclosed, a bribe needs to be concealed.

This is the usual perception. The definition becomes clearer if we know closely on the motives and subsequent actions of both parties that follow the gift giving. The value of the offer can be determined, but the motives can be deceptive and difficult to discern.  Most often bribery makes its debut under the cloak of gifts. Sometimes it depends on country’s culture where there be a hairline differences between gifts from bribes. Not all gift-giving is bribery.

Some cultural customs of the country consider commissions, honorariums, give away, incentives, and consultation fees as gifts while others as bribes. These also spell the difference.

BRIBES AND CORRUPTIONS

Bribes are close relatives to corruptions. Corrupt people permeate the world. Look at some famous people in the world today. Proven guilty, they are facing plunder charges in connection with bribes, corruption, scandals, scam, etc. Some of them are presidents, senators, congressman, and politician. The common denominator- they are allegedly receiving bribes, kickbacks, incentives, etc. in the form of gifts. Whatever the things they receive they call them gifts or blessings!

Corruption, which is the most hated social problems and difficult to eradicate, sometimes emanating from one’s own cultural background. It can starve investment of public-improvement projects and instead; fattened the pockets of the corrupt officials.

Though the practice is culturally rooted, a genuine political will allow checks and balances, transparency, and independent scrutiny. In some instances, these actions may act as sort of remedy in curbing corruption.

Lecturers, populace, bosses or superiors always claim in the chorus that what they receive are gifts, not bribes. Whatever the perceptions, a gift like a light in the science of Physics, has dual nature; that is, it can be a blessing or a bribe. The judgment in receiving gifts as ethical, proper, appropriate or blessing is yours and it is irrevocable. The book of Revelation reveals everything, as follows; Rev 22:11-12;

11 Let the sinner continue to sin and the defiled remain in his defilement; let the righteous continue to do what is right and he who is holy grow holier.”

12 “I am coming soon, bringing with me the salary I will pay to each one according to his deeds.

 So be it! And glory to God in the Highest.

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