An interesting conversation opened up over dinner one evening last week. Sipping wine and savouring the last bites of our delicious meal at Le Vin Papillon, we talked about “the different types of people in this world”. I took in the discourse about givers versus takers, and how givers have to learn to give to to themselves. I let it sit, percolate for a few days, feeling into how I felt about that.
The thing is, people aren’t inherently bad are they? People are just trying to feel good by way of whatever resources are accessible to them in any given moment. Tony Robbins sais, “There are no unresourceful people, only unresourceful states.” I’d like to think there no bad people, only people trying to feel good in unresourceful ways.
As I walked up the stairs to meet a friend at the lookout on Mont Royal this weekend, for an afternoon walk, I thought to myself “I don’t like the feeling that is evoked in me when I think of my worldy confrères, or worse, myself as a taker. Or even when I think of givers and the weak connotation the reference carries (but that’ll be a thought to ponder on another stroll).” Some people think I’m a giver. I think I’ve been a giver and a taker, sometimes both at once. Haven’t you? Does either of these states really feel good with these judgements superimposed onto the terms?
What if we thought of ourselves as receivers, instead of takers? What if you thought of yourself as a receiver?
When a giver gives to you, and you are the receiver (instead of the taker), now you are open and most likely grateful. The gift multiplies and touches both, or all involved. No one is diminished by the act of receiving.
When a giver thinks of himself as a receiver, he is now opening to the possibility of a shift in patterns. Instead of not giving to, or withholding from others (so that you can give to yourself), now you receive from others (or yourself), gifts that are freely given. There is no taking in receiving. Receiving, in and of itself is an act, and a symbol of abundance, both given and received. Receiving evokes the feelings of abundance, gifts, blessings, sharing, healing.
Now instead of taking someone’s love, you can receive the beauty and fullness of their heart, instead of taking their money, you can receive their gift, or share in their abundance, or reap the seeds you’ve sowed. Receiving invokes the feeling of wanting to give back, be it gratitude, appreciation, time, gifts, money… Which engenders a whole a new cycle of relating to the world around us. What do we want to receive? How will feel when receive it? How will we show our appreciation? What will we give back? How will this make us feel and round and round.
Yes, most definitely, I’d like to step outside the box of giving and taking and move into the circle of receiving.