Published February 08, 2008 by
The word bounty is normally used as a type of reward or payment, especially one given by a government. It is a gift in a way for doing something that the government does not have the ability or the manpower top do itself. Some examples would be a bounty on killing predatory animals, growing certain crops, starting certain industries, or signing up for a term in the military.
However the term bounty can also be used in the form of an ordinary person giving a generous gift. Sometimes the person would give a gift that was very expensive. At other times the person would take an ordinary item and add value to it. This value, of course, lies in the eyes of the recipient of the gift. Because you value the recipient’s friendship enough to add value to a gift, or favor that you perform for them, they will think highly about you. This of course has a boomerang effect. You desire people to think well about you because they believe you think well about them and it actually happens.
Way back in 1776, a Scottish fellow named Adam Smith published a book called ‘The Wealth of Nations’. In this book, the author implies that adding value to goods and services is how wealth is created. For the terms ‘goods and services’ you can easily substitute the terms ‘gifts and favors’. The author felt that adding value would create monetary wealth. What about the wealth of good-will that would be created if gifts were given a bounty by adding value to them with your personal touch or added to a favor by going ’above and beyond the expected’?
The traditional way of adding value to a gift was to wrap it. Nowadays, people buy gift bags instead of wrapping gifts. However there may be a way of creating a personalized gift under the wrapping by putting the person’s name on it or a special label from a stationary store or a stamp-booking supply store. When offering a “to-do a favor” to someone, you may include an offer to bring along munchies or refreshments and then do it. This would certainly stand out as a bounty and mark you as a person who certainly had generosity in giving.
The unfortunate part of this is that it is normal for the recipient to reciprocate the bounty. If you value their friendship you would feel better about yourself if they acknowledged your bounty in a reciprocal manner. Unfortunately this is sometimes not the case. Sometimes selfishness plays a part. Selfishness implies the concern with one’s own interests in priority to the interests of others. As you have not expressed selfishness in that you have added bounty or value to the gift or favor, it is reasonable that the recipient show their thanks in a reciprocal manner.
It need not be done at the time of the gift, but should be done in a reasonable period of time. If you find that there is no reciprocation after several bountiful gifts or favors, you may still value the friendship and you may wish to discuss this with the recipient. Let me give you an example.
Say I helped mind your children repeatedly or helped build a shed for you or helped with the landscaping on several occasions. I might mention this and ask if it was OK to continue with the help. I might add that I am asking this because the recipient never reciprocates. I might also mention that I feel bad about this situation. I would also ask if the recipient were aware that I had concerns about this. I would then ask if they thought my concerns would make our relationship better or worse. I would then wait for the answer and see if the recipient of the gifts or favors is prepared to reciprocate in a timely manner. This normally will allow the recipient to make some effort to show their appreciation. Good luck with this strategy.