Be A Giver Not A Taker

The pursuit of sustained inner peace requires a meaningful change in attitude. When we make these attitudinal changes intermittently, they provide only temporary results and then our intrinsic frustrations, insecurities and worries kick in and we return back to a state where we find ourselves searching for that elusive sense of mental peace. Wanted to discuss one of those fundamental attitude shifts in this article. During this holiday season, I felt an article on being a “Giver” of time, money, love or compassion was especially pertinent.

A Giver is always trying to figure out what they can do for others. “How can I be of assistance?” is the foremost thought for a Giver. A Taker is always trying to figure out how to gain something from the situation. A Giver is spiritually developed while a Taker is not. A Giver listens more than a Taker. A Giver wants to make a difference, while a Taker wants to understand what’s in it for them. Givers see God in people and the things around them while Takers are always seeking attention. Givers give their 100% to whatever they do and are always willing to help someone else, whereas Takers don’t give their all and then whine about their schedules. Givers enrich the lives of the people they meet and make people around them happy, while Takers can be draining. Givers are happy people while Takers are not.

Be a Giver, not a Taker. Givers create happiness for themselves and others around them. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein is in my view one of the best childhood stories ever written, with a beautiful way of showcasing a Giver and a Taker. If you haven’t read this one before, I would highly recommend reading it. It is a story about the interactions between a tree and a boy. The boy is a Taker and constantly wants things from the Giving Tree. When he’s little, he wants to climb the tree and play on it. When he grows a little older, he takes the apples the tree produces and sells them to make money, and the tree happily gives him what he desires. When he grows older still and needs wood to build a house, he comes back to the tree with another ask, and the tree gladly offers her branches to him to cut down. This taking from the boy and the giving from the tree continues until the boy becomes and old man and all that’s left of the tree is a stump for him to rest on. The story is brilliant and teaches us an extremely important life-lesson: there is happiness in Giving and sadness in Taking.

Do I want to be a Giver or a Taker is a fundamental question we should be asking ourselves. The answer is binary and there’s no way to confuse one from the other, especially if our conscience is the judge. Giving for the sake of bolstering our ego or showing off to others is most certainly not in the spirit of this attitude. Most of us love the feeling of giving during the holiday season…irrespective of our religious affiliation. Doesn’t being a Giver during the holiday season, albeit temporarily, make you feel really good on the inside? Having that feeling all year is possible if we embrace the appropriate attitude. Don’t make this attitude change your new year resolution…instead make the change now and consciously stick with it. I guarantee that you will find your general attitude towards life changing as a result of this…more importantly you will start feeling a whole lot calmer and at peace with things and people around you. 

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