COLLEGE PARK, MD –
Let’s talk about giving and taking.
Depending on the situation, all of us alternate between the roles of giver and taker numerous times throughout the course of our lives.
Giving can be in the form of monetary assistance (and perhaps that is the most commonly associated form of giving), parental sacrifice, filial piety, and any other example of when two individuals or a group come together and interact in solidarity.
Taking is to be on the receiving end of someone’s giving. It also is to offer a giver an opportunity to express his or her gifts.
Who is better?
Playing one role at this moment doesn’t mean you’ll be playing the same one in the next. Neither role is inherently better than the other. They both serve their functions.
Without one you don’t have the other. Done properly, the relationship between a giver and taker is mutualistic – not parasitic.
What matters is playing the role you find yourself in at any given moment with a spirit of abundance.
If you do so, the role itself becomes irrelevant.
You take your responsibility as a giver or taker in that moment with the weight that if you fail to give where you should give or take where you should take, you’ve given up a chance to bring balance and justice to your life and the world.
There are no takers
A giver who not only gives, but gives with a spirit of abundance is the one who fulfills the trust of their privilege properly.
They aren’t giving in a way where they leave the taker feeling like they are lesser as people. Instead, the manner in which they give with grace and generosity leaves the taker with a sense of dignity and equality.
However, a taker can also be a giver if they take with a spirit of abundance.
They aren’t taking in a way where they leave the giver with less, but, instead, the manner in which they take with gratitude and reciprocation leaves the giver with a sense of expansion and joy.
Metaphysically, they are both givers; their external roles are the only difference between them.
The spirit is what designates someone as a giver.
So what about people who do genuinely take advantage of others? Whether in the role of giver or taker, if the person plays their role with a spirit of scarcity and suspicion they are a taker.
Better yet, they are undertakers.
Through playing their role in a manner that depresses their counterpart, puts others down, or leaves others feeling constrained or disrespected, they prepare joy and happiness for their graves.
Wherever they go they bring the killer of happiness with them.
We discussed happiness’s killer last week. The slayer is forgetfulness of God.
Undertakers can always be found making plans for the funerals of happiness. They make a business out of it.
Don’t be an undertaker.