Dennis Prager has famously said that the world consists of only two races: the decent and the indecent.
But my dad has his own delineation between people – there are Givers and there are Takers.
This doesn’t mean that if you simply accept a gift from someone, you’re a taker. What it does mean is that if you have been blessed, you should bless someone else when you have an opportunity.
Sadly, “takers” tend to develop and live a lifestyle where they forget how to give to others and then even begin to expect to be given things throughout their lives.
So, can a taker give and is it okay for a give to receive?
Or the better question may be: Does a taker know that they are a taker and does a giver know that they are a giver? Well, almost always the giver knows his identity, but takers often are not as self-aware.
But what happens to the man who has been a giver all their life, but suddenly finds himself needing to receive abundantly, whether it be due to a loss of job, health issues or other calamity? It’s indeed humbling – which is not always a bad thing. The question comes down to a person’s character, not their balance of giving or receiving.
Takers, on the other hand, don’t normally know that they are takers at their core. Often times, even when they are no longer in NEED of receiving, they still will take from others without ever “paying it forward”.
But, be forewarned when dealing with takers – you need to be invited into their lives before you have the credibility and relationship to speak these truths to them. Without that invitation, your words will typically fall on deaf ears.
All this is easy to define in regards to people who constantly receive material or monetary gifts. But, what about people who are chronic time takers or emotional takers?
There’s no easy answer, other than you can try to determine whether or not the time you spend with them is fruitful. But you may need to be patient – fruit often takes a long time to develop to a point where it’s noticeable. And yet, even when we don’t see fruit, it may actually be there, but we simply aren’t able to identify it at the time.
What it boils down to is this: if you are a giver, please continue to give. If you know a giver, support them and help them. If you are a taker, learn to pay it forward and if you know a taker, invest in their lives so that you might earn the invitation to speak truth into their perspectives.