By Diana Morais
Socially, we value the attitude of giving. But in fact, we are all givers and takers all the time. This is our nature and if you think about it, this is how organisms, cities and countries are built. How else do you think that a complex body would have developed without an exchange amongst all cells? A group of cells developed the capacity to breath so they became responsible for supplying oxygen to all the others, some cells achieved an efficient way to digest, and so they became responsible to supply nutrients to the other cells See where I’m going? Our entire body is balanced in this dynamic.
What I want to emphasize here is the intelligence behind in giving and receiving. There are two attitudes of doing each one and many angles to all of it, so I’ll stick to a simple example a student inspired me with.
He is a well-known chef and he invites me for a dinner party at his house. Here are the two sides from a giver’s perspective: 1) He can organize a dinner from a hierarchical perspective. He feels that he is better than everybody else so he will donate his time and talent to the needy; or out of guilt, he is feeling indebted with the world and he is seeking validation. 2) He has the desire of doing so. This is what he enjoys doing for himself and he organizes the event for the pleasure of cooking and hosting.
As a taker, I can receive the invitation from a hierarchical context: ”poor thing, he needs me there” so I take advantage of the situation; or “I owe it to him”, which ends up in excessive thankfulness towards the host. On the other hand, the second option is to receive the invitation because it is my desire.
The second option of both cases, we are in a position of exchanging and transforming into something better together. We will create a new potential/better reality.
Bottom line, in every situation, we are giving or receiving with a temporary or permanent attitude. The point is not to observe how people around us are doing this, but what are we creating when taking or giving something?
Take now and give a different effect.
Alonso, A. (2010) Dar e receber, a origem.