Sunday, April 7, 2013

Do You Take Too Much Or Give Too Much?

Givers and Takers
Givers and Takers (Photo: TimsStrategy)
by Stanley F Bronstein

The Highest Reward For One's Toil
Is Not What They Get For It,
But What They Become By It
(John Ruskin)

Have you ever asked a favor of a person whose first impulse was to ask: what's in it for me? I feel sorry for people who think that way.

I feel equally sorry for people who constantly do favors for others, yet have tremendous difficulty getting anyone to do a favor for them.

Do you fall into either of these categories?

Which best describes you?

__ I often think "What's in it for me?"
__ I think of myself and allow others to help me, but I also try to help those around me.
__ I constantly do favors for others, and seldom receive anything in return.

The best place to be is somewhere in the middle of the two extremes.

If you do too little for others, or always expect something in return, you are not giving enough to make this a better world for the people in your life. If you do too much for others, or very seldom receive something in return, you are not being adequately appreciated by others.

Society functions best when there is a "rough" equality between the givers and takers. Society functions best when I help you and you help me. Notwithstanding, there are many people out there who have a tendency to almost always give and there are many others who have a tendency to almost always take.

Think about the past few months of your life.

Fill out the following columns which are labeled "Things I've done for others" and "Things others have done for me". Fill out these two columns with as many examples as you can.

Things I've Done For Others

Things Others Have Done For Me

Now, examine these examples according to the people involved in them. Consider the following questions and write a brief response:

Do you do more for society or does it do more for you?
Do you do more for your best friend or does your best friend do more for you?
Do you do more for your significant other or do they do more for you?
Do you do more for your family or do they do more for you?

I'd like to be the first to congratulate you if your lists are fairly balanced. Notwithstanding, you might find that you give more than you receive, or vice versa.

If you find you are a "giver", you must learn to receive a little more from others. If you find you are a "taker", I'd like for you to consider trying to give a little more to others. I believe we should strive to seek a balance between how much we give and take. In general, "givers" contribute more to society than "takers."

Clearly, the world would be a much better place if people gave more freely of themselves. However, "givers" have a tendency to be attracted to "takers" and vice versa. "Givers" are attracted to "takers" because takers make the givers feel useful and needed. "Takers" are usually attracted to "givers" because "givers" will make life easier for "takers".

The trick is for "givers" to stand up for themselves and not let "takers" take advantage of them. "Takers" need to become aware of their tendencies, and to be encouraged to give more.

If we would all learn to give a little more freely, without expecting anything in return, we would become better people.

As you work toward developing your sense of purpose, I encourage you to make room for giving as part of that purpose. Until next time, may you find your path by walking it ...

Stanley Bronstein is the author of 7 books, 6 of which are in the area of personal development. His latest project, was the creation of the intensive course SuperChangeYourLife

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