Every holiday season, AMC puts the Godfather trilogy in heavy rotation. The timing is ironic on many levels. Including that one of its most iconic lines, “I made him an offer he couldn’t refuse” is antithetical to the very idea of giving.
As a verb, an offer is “to present something for someone to accept or reject as so desired.” As a noun, it is “an expression of readiness to do or give something, if desired.”
So in the context of the Godfather, “I made him an offer he couldn’t refuse” essentially means “I am not really making an offer at all.”
This sentiment has come to embody what we actually expect when we offer something today: You should or must accept it. And if you don’t…watch out. The value is in the response, not the offer itself.
But when we make an offer – whether a good, a gift, or a gesture – and we do so with authenticity, then this should be sufficient. We have done something good and to concern ourselves too much about whether and how it will be received is to subject ourselves unnecessarily to worry and concern.
In my own life I have felt real insecurity about what I offer to others. Is it good enough? Will they like it? What is wrong with what I’m offering?
Every minute spent worrying about any of those questions is one that could have been spent offering more. Another gesture, gift or good that someone can accept or reject — as they desire.
In that spirit of less worrying and more offering, here are three offers for you:
- Based on some reader requests, I created this brief ebook, Moving Up: A Guide to Getting Ahead in America. It’s free to download.
- You can read this short article I wrote for Fast Company about what happens when we spend just ten minutes reflecting on who has helped us along the way.
- Also based on reader feedback, we’ve created a streamlined version of “Who is on your dream team?” that makes it easier for you to name and thank the important people in their life. You can give it a try.
You can refuse any or all of these offers. No worries. In 2020, there will be more from where they came from.
Until then, have a wonderful holiday and happy offering.