I often ponder how we have become a society of people who give to others only if they feel they can get something in return. I believe that giving should be unconditional, with no expectation (there is that word again) of some kind of gain. I think about this often, however, it came up for me again today, and I thought I would blog about it.
Todays experience was this… a professional partner of mine needed access to a home to perform an inspection for one of our buyers, that he was not able to do yesterday as originally planned. When he called me and told me the situation, I told him I would drive out there and meet him and let him in so he could get it taken care of. So on my lunch I schlepped from Tempe to Laveen, and hung out for a bit while he completed his inspection. When we were leaving, he said, “wow, you really went above and beyond. I really owe you now huh?” Although he was somewhat joking, I wondered in my head what his experiences have been with people who have helped him out in the past, and what they had expected in return. I was kind of taken aback, and actually told him that I just do what I do, I don’t need to be owed for anything. All I ask for is a simple thank you (that goes back to my expectation of kindess, and of course good manners.)
I think that giving is a part of a good life (and I want to be clear, when I say giving, I’m not just talking about money or material things, sometimes you just need to give a little of yourself or your time), and I am a total believer in Karma, and what goes around comes around. Therefore, by just helping someone or giving to someone because you truly have the desire to, it will always come back to you at some point in your life. Haven’t you ever noticed that when you are driving, and you decided to be nice and stop and give someone room to pull out of a driveway, at some point that day someone does the same for you?
I also wonder why many people have the need to announce to the world the good that they have done for others. Why, when someone gives $5.00 to a homeless person, or donates to a charity, or stops to help someone change a tire, must they announce to the world that they have done this good thing? I guess my real question is, why isn’t just giving to or helping someone enough, why must we always need more?
If you are keeping a tally of all the things you have done for someone or ways you have helped them, chances are you aren’t doing it for the right reasons. If you only give because you are looking for some kind of reward, whether it be material, to hold it over their head, or even recognition from other people, are you really giving something to someone or are you actually in fact taking from them?
Yeah, those are my thoughts for today. More to come I’m sure!
“To give and not expect anything in return; to give for no special time or season; to give, not for any particular recognition; to give, not for a substantial tax refund; to give for the sake of giving — often just between giver and receiver — has a life of its own — an elevated one.”