When we exist in a world of gift, in which we ourselves are given, then our own labors must be gifts to those around us. To refuse that possibility is to refuse the thanksgiving to which we are properly called. Or, to put it another way, if we are not willing to see our lives and the creation as gifts, then we are not able to properly acknowledge our debts. Being so free, we then feel as though it is in our right to say that others owe us. Thus we can easily sell our labors, without any sense of obligation that perhaps we really owe them. That some should give their labors freely is then, properly, the response of those who owe what cannot be repaid—which includes us all.
— from the book Wendell Berry and the Given Life
by Ragan Sutterfield