Give to your friends.
I recently surprised two different friends of mine with gifts solely because I could. While that's sounds egotistical, the reasoning behind it is far from that.
My buddy Keith is a huge Green Lantern fan. Recently, a limited edition pair of bookends was released to commemorate the Sinestro Corps. I managed to trade a few of my older and important comics to another collector who happened to have those bookends. While I'll miss those old comics, the look on Keith's face, which was a combination of sheer joy and total bewilderment, made it worthwhile. If you've never seen a grown man returned to a state of being a child on Christmas morning, you're missing out.
At the same time, I made sure Margaret could live out her fantasy as a drummer for Survivor's Eye of the Tiger. Before she even called, I could hear the squeal several miles away. Now I expect her to rock out so hard and become so good that she can destroy anyone while wasted at a Vita.mn party.
I'm not rich, I just care. Why? Because even though I understand that we finish alone, the journey should never be done so. And as selfish as it may seem, the feeling you can get from making someone else happy is intoxicating and more addictive than any drug. An added bonus is the need to use your brain to figure out what a person really likes. It's a fun mystery.
To be clear, however, it doesn't take money to get that feeling. You can just as easily make a gift and give it to someone. One of my former students is about have a birthday. The gift I'm sending is not one I made, but one that (I hope) is thoughtful.
You should care and give because The Beatles may have been right: and in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.
Of course that's just my opinion. I might be wrong.
What I find interesting, however, is the backlash for both the above mentioned gifts. For Keith, the comic book community the person I got the bookends from has turned their attention on me and started taking me to task. While I should care that the value of one of the books I traded is much higher, I don't. In the end, the perceived value of the book is worthless compared to his joy.
The same goes with Margaret. I don't care if people are jealous or think I'm crazy. All I care about is that she's happy, and Indigo Sassypants will now have music to help him chase shadows on the wall.
Be good to your friends, and when you need them, they'll be good to you.