The opposite of giving and serving is taking. It is the Theory X brand of pessimism. If youre a taker in life, youre sliding down a slippery slope. You go from taking emotionally from those you love to forgetting who you are and taking whatever you want. And that kind of lifestyle can too easily descend into illegal and unethical behavior.
My point is, when youre a taker, your universe just gets smaller. Youre not building an environment of trust, youre not building character, youre not building a group of investors in what you believe. No one likes you, or trusts you.
And like any addiction, taking requires more tomorrow than it did today to give you the same return. If youre an alcoholic, you need more alcohol tomorrow to give you the same buzz you had yesterday. If youre a drug addict, you start off casually with one hit a month, then one a week, and after a while, youre getting high four or five times a day. Youre trying to fill a cup that doesnt have a bottom. Until you deal with the real problem, ultimately you will just kill yourself.
To be a taker is expensive. If you are the sort of a manager who takes, the only way you motivate your people is by paying them off. You have to give them more tomorrow than you gave them yesterday for the same outcome. Eventually theyre not satisfied with just getting more money and things. They ultimately want your job, and so they conspire against you.
Says the Rev. Murray:
True giving has no expectation except to be allowed to deliver, leaving the packet on the doorstop even if the other person will not answer the doorbell. But then, giver, you arrive at home, and in your mailbox is a surprise of surprises. You have just won a jackpot. What goes around comes around.
In the marketplace, you become known as a giver. Down the hallway in a corner office is a known taker. You know from observation that takers are not going away. Its just that they are short-lived, and then another taker fills the void. The question is, Is that who you are? Of course not.
And the same way you can see it, others can see it. You love. You care. You give. You do not tremble or be troubled by those who advance by taking. You are in control of yourselfasking nothing and giving everything. When the dust clears, you will be left standing.
Human beings are naturally good. We learn bad. It was the great author C.S. Lewis who said that even badness is nothing more than spoiled goodness.