Givers and Takers
Date: February 9, 2015
Blog Posting: 5
A friend of mine and I were talking the other day about givers and takers. It got me thinking about the differences in people, and I started running through all of the contradictory personality traits I’ve encountered over the years.
One instance that always stuck with me about raising my children was a recent trip to Florida with my youngest daughter, Haylee. After I gave her some money to spend at Charming Charlie’s, she came away with a boatload of goodies from bracelets to hair ribbons to rings to necklaces. I asked her “Why so many things?” And she told me, “They are gifts for my friends.” I wasn’t sure what to think when she first ran out with a bag full of trinkets, but after she told me her intentions, I was proud that I had a generous and thoughtful child.
A behavioral study I read about 4 year old children comes to mind. Over many years, the study measured the greed or patience of 4 year old children to ascertain how certain behaviors at the age of 4 shaped certain adult behaviors. It was noted that greedy kids typically weren’t stellar adults, and patient kids had more favorable measurable outcomes in adult life. And while I’m certain there are many more academic studies out there, I just enjoy observing behaviors as I navigate through the back nine.
Have I given more than I’ve taken? It’s good to give pause and offer that question some quiet consideration. To a certain extent, I guess it depends on the eye of the beholder, but I am confident that I have always had everyone’s best interest at heart, and I believe that is the foundation of being a good ‘giver.’ Any incident of giving or sharing must consider whether you are expecting something in return or not.
Over the years I have given and received my fair share, and I’ve never really kept score, but I do recognize how fortunate that I have been. By the way, I try to stay away from the people who keep score, especially the ones who know who bought lunch last time.
So what constitutes certain personality traits? As I was talking to my friend about it, it got us thinking about other behaviors and the different types we’ve encountered in our lives. We’ve put together a short list for consideration:
- Giver or Taker
- Generous or Cheap
- Thankless or Appreciative
- Substance or Flash
- Self Absorbed or Concerned
- Positive or Negative
- Sarcastic or Nice
We all encounter these various types through family, business, and the social activities. It’s pretty easy to pick and choose where you think your friends, family, and acquaintances fit, but what if you feel like you are on the wrong side of the equation? How do you change? Can you change? Do you want to change? Is it a thoughtful note, a kind gesture, a random gift, or a random act of kindness that’s missing? It has me thinking about all of my relationships.
Who hasn’t thought about these scenarios as you navigate through life. Go ahead, give me your opinion, or just take my thoughts and move on [or make a note on your scorecard, I’ll owe you one].