Thursday, March 22, 2012

The True Spirit of Giving

I'm a person who loves to give. :<)

Give of my time, my talents and yes giving gifts too. They all bring me joy. They all give me a nice "warm fuzzy feeling" to be able to do something for someone else. Small and large gestures too. Even smiles and hugs. You know I love giving hugs, if you've been reading any of my blogs for any length of time LOL. And I don't give with the thought of something in return, far from it actually.

But the true spirit of "giving" in the best sense of the word can get distorted at times. There are people who only give with the thought of receiving in return, their only motive.

There are also people who give of themselves so much that they are left drained physically, emotionally, sometimes financially as a result. An example that comes to mind:

I have a long-time friend of mine with (in my opinion) very selfish, grown children. My friend does so much for these children. Baby-sitting endlessly, shelling out money again and again... the list goes on and on. And in return. Well, let's just say, not much it seems. Not even real gratitude on the part of these "children". My friend and her husband are always putting their own needs and desires on hold it seems. Last on the list.

Yes, of course parents and grandparents want to help their kids and they should. But does that give children the right to take advantage of their kindness and generosity? I don't think so.

And it's a "funny" thing. It seems that in so many families, it's these kind of parents who end up with selfish, "takers" for children and vice versa. Strange how that is the case so many times. I've seen it myself, over and over again. In the big picture, I don't think these overly "giving" parents are really helping their children to become mature, well-rounded adults either. Again, just the opposite seems to be the long-term result.

I read an interesting post over at Psychic Bloggers about giving and kind gestures recently. Some of the things I've written about above are mentioned there too. This is a fascinating blog/site btw.

What are your thoughts on giving? Is it better to give than to receive?
Do you get a lift, feel a true satisfaction... from giving?

Photo courtesy of Flickr


Cathy said...

I'm one of those parents Geraldine, who do endlessly for their kids and grandchildren. I love being around them and they never ever take advantage. They always ask first and never assume I'll do anything and because of that I will try my best to accomadate them. I don't understand people who either a) let their kids run roughshod all over them or b) once their kids are grown say that part of my life is over. I don't get it but I try not to judge. My kids ARE my life and I wouldn't have it any other way!
And I love to give to them, not expecting anything in return but always on the receiving end anyway.

Joseph said...

You are a very giving person, that's true.

And it is true that there are a lot of people who take the givers of the world for granted and vice versa. Funny how that seems to be the case, again and again, especially in families.

Geraldine said...

Hi Cathy, I know that you help your kids a lot. I'm glad to hear that they don't take advantage of your giving spirit and that appreciate what you do for them. That's the way it should be.

Hi Joe, Thank you! And yes, it is strange how this kind of dynamic seems to be the norm in so many families and in other relationships too. It's all about balance I guess. But that's not the reality, too much of the time it seems. I've seen it first-hand, again and again.

Happy Weekend, G

lissa said...

I think it's better to give. receiving can be disappointing. you don't get to choose and you don't always like what you get. but that's probably not what you mean.

all I know is, just accept and receive with gratitude. that's all.

Quiet Paths said...

I am trying not to be one of those parents. It's hard but I think the key is mutual respect. Our boys always seem pretty darn grateful...but I sure know parents who do this. A very interesting post and one that made me think. Thank you!

Hilary said...

That kind of giving (to my kids) has never been all that affordable for me so I can't say that it's a problem. We are raising a fairly entitled group of kids though. I see that over and over again with folks I know - much as you mentioned.

SandyCarlson said...

Giving is everything and it is so liberating. Thanks for this post, Geraldine. I needed it.

Geraldine said...

Hi Lissa, Interesting and thought-provoking comment. Thank you.

Hi Christine, I know quite a few families with this type of dynamic that seems to go on and on...If only these "children" were grateful and not just taking advantage of their parents. But that isn't the case, so many times. Glad you enjoyed this post.

Hi Hilary, It's about money and so much more I think. When parents babysit etc, to the point of exhaustion and put their own lives on hold, over and over, I think that's wrong too. And again, I've seen this (too) many times.
On the plus side, I do know of families that have a nice balance of give and take and it's gratifying to witness. The lucky ones, for all concerned.

Hi SandyC, It is liberating, I agree. I love to give! It really does bring me joy.

Happy Week, G :<)

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