Givers and takers are the subject on my mind today. I'm really looking for opportunities to help my children learn to be givers instead of takers, starting with setting a good example myself.
It's normal to be wired as a taker:
What do I want to do?
What makes me comfortable?
How can I please myself?
It shows up in an entitlement attitude. It's apparent in people who sit around idly while there's a boatload of work to do. Another way it shows up is in just general laziness.
Toddlers know the taker mode very well. Growing up is learning to overcome the taker side.
I have a friend who is a perfect example of what I want to be in a giver. She is constantly asking if she can do this or that to help in some situation. She has brought meals multiple times when we're either sick or extremely busy with some aspect of life. She's looks outside herself all the time to see how she can comfort or help other people.
On the other hand, I'm ashamed at my own lack of vision to see when others need help. Often, it's because I've let exhaustion or distraction override my sense of benevolence, not because I'm actually cold-hearted. I'm guessing many people are the same way.
I'm well aware of the trap of people-pleasing, and that's definitely not my goal. I just want to be more aware of people around me that need help or a kind word, or even a smile.
Learning to be the giver I want to be instead of a taker may be a lifelong lesson. That's fine. I'll just keep going in that direction one step at a time.
How will I teach that to my children? By example first, then by helping them see the times they could be helping someone else (here at home, too) instead of making more work or discomfort for others.