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Giving and Taking:

 


The other day, I invited a friend to lunch. She felt uncomfortable and said: I don’t have anything to give back to you, I’m pretty broke.

 

It hit me that the way we grew up, giving is not gifting. Giving is mostly offering a deal: you exchange favors, services and goods. This is not giving.

 

When I give something, I must let it go. In the moment I give something, I give up ownership and any further rights to the thing or service I gave, just as I give up the right to ask for something in return.

 

Western philosophy has taught us to hang on to material values. To let go or give means to lose, to waste, to have “bad business sense”.  I believe the act of giving is best performed by erasing the deed from our memory right after we give. I don’t want to keep count of my “good deeds”, only to hold them over the receiver’s head for leverage.

 

We keep each other hostage with our gifts and “good deeds”. No wonder one feels unable to accept a gift or service “for free” – we don’t want to become the slaves of the “giver”, we don’t want them to hold power over us.

 

In order to truly receive without guilt, we must first learn to truly give. Giving and taking both must be in balance within each individual. We arrive in this world as we leave, with nothing material but our bodies. During our lifetime, everything is given to us - until we give everything away as we die. Once this concept of giving and taking truly sinks in, the idea of personal property makes no longer sense.

Last Updated (Sunday, 28 February 2010 04:41)